I have never actually met Ryan. Like most folks I head hunt for the interviews, he does great work and gets here cuz someone I know suggested I give him a peek. I look forward to meeting him and the process of the interview sheds some light on his character. Everybody out there take a few moments to get to know a bit about Ryan the same way I did by reading the interview and peeping out his photos. Maybe you know him or maybe you will meet him, what ever the case he is or will be a solid person either way.
C: Name, age, location, occupation
R: My name Ryan Young, I'm 22 years old, and I shoot photos.
C: How long have you been shooting?
R: I've been shooting photos for about 6 years.
C: Formal training, or a more hands on get it done approach?
R: This question is an interesting one. I find it unique because I struggle with the difference a lot. I go to a school where I am influenced to make pictures as opposed to take pictures. The element of design and intent is sometimes awesome to understand, but at times it can be an unhealthy obsession. Sometimes you gotta just let go and free yourself from what you think is universally right or wrong. There's a beauty in both.
I consider my formal training to be what I am told and shown technically and conceptually. On the other side, my hands on training is simply the knowledge I attain put into action.
It's somewhat like skating. Skaters learn new stuff at a skatepark, but most would want to film what they've learned on a unique street spot so they can call it their own.
C: Most folks who shoot skating also put in some ride time is this the case with you?
R: Yes. Skating will always be my number one. I still feel the same about skateboarding as I did when I was in middle school rushing through my homework so I could get down to the skatepark and do my thang.
C: Your American Dreams series is killer how did you come up with that concept?
R: Thanks. It started out as a self-assigned school project. I got ideas from things I've seen in person, movies, and NPR.
American Dreams is actually a work in progress. Its a social narrative covering contemporary issues ranging from home foreclosures to discontent suburban families. The series is supposed to convey the feeling of being caught in between reality and fantasy. There's always an underlying element of tragedy in every photo. I guess I'm drawn to the way people react to things before, during, and/or after moments of struggle.
C: What is your current fave thing to shoot?
R: Portraiture. I know that's speaking in a rather broad scope, but it's what I'm into. I feel that every artist has their own idea of what a portrait is. There is no specific definition. A still life can be a portrait. A portrait can be a still life. One of my favorite portrait photographers said it best, "The subject must be thought of in terms of the 20th century, of houses he lives in and places he works, in terms of the kind of light the windows in these places let through and by which we see him every day." -Arnold Newman
C: Who is inspiring you to keep at it?
R: I get inspiration from a lot of different sources. Everyday it seems to come from something different. Sometimes it's a movie, sometimes it comes during a critique in school, and other times it comes from simply looking around at my environment.
My favorite artists who inspire me are; Pablo Picasso, Albert Watson, Brian Gaberman, John Cardiel, and Quentin Tarantino.
C: Other than your camera what is a bit of equipment you could not live with out?
R: Film and a reflector.
C: What is your best advice to folks out there getting into photography?
R: Hmmm... Spend a lot of time obtaining the technical knowledge so you aren't limited. Look at all kinds of artists for inspiration, not just other photographers. Have fun.
C: Dream gig?
R: Some sort of editorial project in an awesome environment, with amazing light, that pays extremely well... I wish I could be more specific, but I guess I like to take things as they come.
C: If you were in a band what would you play?
R: The drums always peeked my interest.
C: Ok bro that ought to do it...thanks a bunch for your time. Any shout outs as the curtain falls on our little interview?
R: Shout out to my SPC homies, Jenna, Sam Muller, BK, D-Money, K-Duff, Mom, Dad, and Bro.