Here is a recap of what I was working on during the polar vortex.
I began December by helping Clare’s 515 Gallery host Help Portrait. Help Portrait is an event put on annually at multiple locations worldwide which gives free portraits to less fortunate families and individuals. I had a great time photographing local families and spending time with the amazing 515 Gallery staff! During our down time I shot some portraits of this 515 Gallery member, and amazing model, Raven, who I can’t wait to work with more in the future!
Shortly after Christmas I finally gave in and bought a smart phone; I had been using a Verizon pay as you go for years. Being a dedicated Apple user I got the new iPhone 5s. As I suspected I soon became obsessed with Instagram and iphoneography. As the polar vortex continued and our temperatures started to be consistently below zero I started spending more time inside reading and expanding my social media presence. I now have an active presence on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. The Ryan Watkins Photography Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest get a lot of neat behind the scenes photos, iphoneography, and industry news relevant to aspiring photographer and entrepreneurs that I don’t post on Facebook.
2014 rang in some new updates at RWP. Some new products like portrait books, a more affordable alterative to the portrait album, and Animoto slideshows, which I absolutely love, where introduced. Also a new pricing structure with more affordable creation fess and economy collections were announced. I also got a Square reader and started accepting credit cards!
Also in early January 2014 I announced that I’d be branching out in architecture photography.
My love of architecture started when I visited the Boston Public Library and Trinity Church in Boston back in January 2013. Since I grew up in the rural Midwest I’d never seen anything like it before. I found these structures beautiful and awe-inspiring. I photographed the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU during my spring break while I was home from my studies at the Hallmark Institute of Photography last spring. This image was featured on Hallmark’s 2014/2015 catalog back cover. This winter I had the amazing opportunity of photographing the sister churches of my church, the Church of Daniel’s Band. This is one of favorite church architecture photos so far. I’m continuing to grow my architecture portfolio with other building throughout the Midwest.
Later in January I got to spend time photographing fellow Hallmarker, Michigander, and amazing commercial photographer Kaitlyn Schwinderson and her adorable cat Sadie. Check out her stunning commercial, pet, and couple work at www.kaitlynmaxine.com
I also got to work with aspiring actress Rocio for a headshot session in January as well. I can’t wait to work with her more in the future!
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In February I had a great engagement session with an amazing couple, Jason and Rachael, in Grand Rapids and Grand Haven. They recommended that we go to Grand Haven during sunset after shooting in downtown Grand Rapids. It was an amazing suggestion! We went out on Lake Michigan while it was still frozen over. Despite falling on the ice several times it was still an awesome experience with some amazing people!
I also bought a cheap Ilford Black and White Disposable 35mm film camera that I can’t wait to use! I will eventually have a series of personal work shot on this.
Lastly I spent much of the winter reading various Christian, business, and photography related books and experimenting with new beard oils from beard brands, their tree ranger beard oil is my current favorite. Even though I love the cold weather the arrival of spring is much appreciated. I can’t wait to get to out and shoot more during the remaining spring and summer months. The RWP blog will be updated much more frequently from now on and coming soon will be update on what I’ve been working on this spring.
Graduate from the Hallmark Institute of Photography and recipient the Highest Academic Honor.
Published in several magazines including Shutterbug, Digital Photo, Outdoor Photographer, and PDNedu.
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