More Play, and Slowing Down

Belt Craft Studios is filled with enough vintage-y props to launch a thousand styled shoots. When I saw them, my first thought was “How perfect for so many wedding photographers who are not me!” The images that tend to drive me forward, of course, are the moments, the illustration of real personalities and relationships and histories. But that’s silly, of course. From a viewer’s perspective, there is no me, there are only the photos — and perhaps I appear later. In Paris the other day, I saw an amazing Joel Meyerowitz retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie. The same photographer who spent years stalking streets with a small-framed Leica, documenting fleeting moments in color and shadow, also lugged around a gigantic 20×25 to create a completely different body of work.

As I mentioned in the last post, I had iterations of this specific idea in my head for many years, but I’ve also in general become fascinated with the process required to make it … slowing down. Instead of creating hundreds of pictures on an engagement shoot, what could I do if I worked to produce just five? Three? One? Not the right choice for all clients, but for some it could be perfect, and push me forward in different ways.

It may surprise those of you who haven’t worked for a while as a photographer, but it takes a lot more time and effort to create three photos on a shoot than to create 100. Claudia already has hundreds of photos of herself in bridal gowns, so for her actual bridal session we made just three. Here is the second:


Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5
Lens: Olympus 12mm f/2

Brian Kraft - That’s awesome (the photo and the idea of slowing down)! I also love that you shot it on the OMD.

nicholas gonzalez - Absolutely sublime work!

Nash Ruiz - Woooow!!! Amazing Shot!!!

rich - um really – wow this is freaking amazing

Reggie Menacherry - this really a brave effort from u to size down pictures from to those few 2-3 pictures… and an artist of you callibre you have nalied. Kudos to the bride who trusted your gutts…. I’m from India, and a big fan of your work Ryan sir.. I’m Reggie Menacherry an aspiring photographer who is been inspired by your works.

Jonathan - Totally down with you on the slowing down. It is kind of confronting to find that there is a whole different world of shooting and challenges when working towards that one picture. Great shot!

Eric - Ryan,

These two shots are great! Very whimsical and fun! They kind of remind me of the French cinematographer in the kids movie Hugo. (If you haven’t seen it, you should.)

Plus, Claudia’s expression of pure joy seems to say it all. You both make it (the captures) look easy. Can’t wait to see the 3rd shot!

Just curious, in this case, do you hire the model for the shoot, to experiment? Or does she hire you for the project? Sorry, I’m a non-pro, so this type of stuff is interesting to me…

Dale Lempa - Too cool. Feels like an old side-scroller video game.