I believe we have heard the phrase, “I’m in love with Ryan Towe” at least once a day since we announced he was going to be a presenter at The Reset Conference 2016. If you take the time to look at the clean yet stunning portfolio pieces he shared with us, then you will understand why senior photographers everywhere are in awe. Take some time to read and observe a little more about Ryan:
Who inspires you? (personally or professionally?)
I tend to be most inspired by artists that I feel are very different from me. I don’t photograph with film, but am constantly inspired by those that do. I don’t shoot video either, but I love watching the behind the scenes of music videos, beauty and clothing commercials, etc. I think a lot of inspiration comes from finding something you are attracted to, but aren’t doing. Then pulling from that to change something about what you do. I know music isn’t a “who,” but music is one of the most inspiring things for me.
Binge watching TV shows with my wife.
“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -Cecil Beaton
Favorite junk food?
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
This is tough. I’ve never cared much about traveling outside of the US until recently. Photography has inspired me to explore more. Right now I’d say Iceland.
If you could have any super power, which would you choose?
I’d love to put an answer that seems super deep, but honestly? Flying. That would be sweet.
Any areas in your life that could use a “Reset?”
Balancing work and life is a constant struggle. I wish I had a Reset button to balance everything out.
Favorite photograph you’ve taken?
This is an almost impossible question to answer. Different photos get appreciated more or less at different times in my career. I’ve witnessed some amazing moments, people and places. There are many people that were in front of my camera that are unfortunately no longer alive. I found out recently that the mother to one of my past senior’s passed away after battling with cancer for many years. I gave them a couple of mother daughter sessions following her senior session.
What moves you?
Easy one, music.
Have there been moments where you are photographing and you realize that this is bigger than yourself?
All. The. Time. It’s the girl that gasps when seeing herself on the back of the camera. Or the mother of the senior guy that picks up her album and cries while flipping through it. Or the email from the senior girl’s mom immediately after a session thanking me for what I did for their self esteem. What we do matters.
What words of advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Become your favorite artist, but don’t be cocky or complacent about it. Seriously, that should be everyone’s goal. Create work you are proud of. Then critique it. And improve.
What’s your typical day usually look like?
I start almost every day with coffee, music, ipad and snuggling with my dog. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. Then my laptop will eventually replace the ipad to reply to emails and messages. After that it gets a little inconsistent. Usually it’s placing orders, editing, meeting clients for consults or product delivery. Then either shooting or editing the rest of the day. In the slow winter months, I take a lot of time to spend with my wife and family.
What three words best describe your photography style?
If I were someone looking at my work, I think I would have to say colorful, bright, and clean. And as much as I do think consistency is important, I am always trying to grow and evolve. I never want to promise a certain style. I think it’s important as artists to do what you feel driven to create. Not just doing something because that’s what people expect. That will quickly lead to feeling empty and unfulfilled creatively.
Wish you had more of…? Wish you had less of….?
Wish I had more free time in the busy months. I’m hoping to make a few adjustments this year to help with that. Wish I had less social media. It’s totally necessary for today’s businesses, but I will occasionally step away from it completely and I find that my drive and ambition increase. Probably because there’s less comparison and worrying about what people think of my work.
Do you feel like attending workshops/conferences are valuable?
Oh heck yes!! I never want to feel like I know everything, because I never will. Workshops and conferences are such a valuable resource of people and information to help you shape your craft and business. I try to attend at least one workshop or conference a year.
Favorite Software (presets, actions, templates, etc?)
Spotify!! After several years of using it, it still seems too good to be true.
Favorite Photo Find (Lab, forum, camera bag, etc.)
Just got the Ona Brixton bag in antique cognac. I think I finally understand what women feel when they love a purse.
Summary of what you hope to share with attendees of the reset conference.
I’m so excited to connect with other photographers and help inspire them to take their senior portrait experience to the next level.
….and Ryan, we are SO EXCITED to connect with you and be inspired!!