Ryan Joseph: It was at that moment I realized a fascination with cameras.
Could you please briefly introduce yourself, and tell us about your first encounter with photography? Who has influenced you to start taking photographs?
My name is Ryan Joseph. I was born and grew up in San Diego, California. My obsession with film and photography started when I was young. My father was recording me and my siblings on the couch with an old Canon Zr45mc. It was at that moment I realized a fascination with cameras. I have been attached to the craft ever since.
I learned to convey emotion and tell a story within the frame both in motion and in stills. I soon developed an obsession with technical proficiency and combined it with my creative instincts to reach my unique style, which I'm excited to utilize on every project. My experiences and mentors have fueled that fascination into a fire that I hope someday earns me a place in a long legacy of lens masters. That journey has just begun.
What is one last impression you want to leave in your photographs?
I am always looking for one of three things. Tone, emotion, provocative. Usually, I find if you can achieve one of these, the other two are there as well. It's about finding the motivation to WHY this photograph exists. Does it ask a question, convey an emotion, or bring a mood to the viewer?
You've clearly worked with a wide range of models, what tips can you recommend to models looking to expand their portfolio?
I have worked with dozens of wonderful people throughout the years and in my opinion, there is one thing that separates a decent model from a great one: Having their own voice. A great model is able to take a direction, setting, or prop and catapult it into another layer of storytelling. I don't want to pose for them. I want them to pose WITH me. There should be a dance between the lighting, environment, model, and camera at all times during the shoot to really find something special.
What are the most important lessons you have learned about photography so far?
The most important lesson I've learned so far is never to underestimate how important lighting and color grading is. These are absolutely the main thing that will bring your photos to life and have you stand out from the rest. I am always looking to develop my lighting knowledge further and always experiment with new ways to process photos to find my look.
How long does a shoot day typically last and what is the preparation like?
A shoot day for me can be pretty grueling. I like to take my time and find the moment. Whether it's going out to incredible locations in nature or dialing in just the right lighting for a set or studio, I'd always prefer to shoot longer. Some of the best photos are taken when both the model and photographer are creatively vulnerable which can really only happen deep into a session.
Preparation starts with a few broad strokes of a concept (wardrobe, lighting, environment, pose, or props) and then I build from there.
Are you the sort of photographer who plans for every minuscule detail or are you more spontaneous with your creations? Where do you find the majority of your inspiration?
This really depends on the shoot. Though there are some exceptions, most of the time I am spontaneous and love to see where things go. Inspiration comes from the context of the situation.
You bring a very high production value to your work. What is your retouching/production philosophy? How important is Photoshop in your final images?
To be completely honest I dislike the idea of Photoshop and retouching. 90% of my photographs that you see on my Instagram are simply color graded and that is it. I really only retouch if a model requests it, or if I am submitting to a client or a specific publication where that is unfortunately the expectation. Everyone is beautiful in their own way and this obsession with "perfect skin" with zero wrinkles or stretch marks or moles etc. does not exist. I don't find it appealing. I'd rather look at something tangible.
In your opinion, what is the difference between fashion and beauty photography? What's your favorite?
Fashion photography is focusing mostly on the wardrobe and lifestyle aesthetic of the image. It is an entire vibe being created and there is more room for the photographer to make a statement. Beauty photography is focusing more on that perfect, unobtainable utopia of beauty that I mentioned before. It has a large emphasis on makeup artistry and photoshop retouching with perfectly even lighting. And typically 3/4 shots or headshots. While I respect the craft I am not focusing on that particular path.
In your own eyes, what was the moment that your career took off?
I am extremely thankful for where I am today. Photo/Film is my full-time job. That being said I still believe my career is taking off. I am constantly in a state of learning. These past 3-5 years have been merely the building blocks for the empire I look to create. I'm just getting started. 🤘🏻
Outside of photography, what else blows your mind?
Filmmaking is actually my first crush. My journey is to be the Cinematographer for large narrative projects.
I love technology. A huge passion of mine. I have been following the tech scene for as long as I can remember. I have an obsession with the newest devices and seeing what they can do. I'm also an avid gamer. PS5 > Xbox 😇
I also ride a Harley Fat Bob whenever I don't need camera gear with me. Oh, and I love cats.
Where can we see more of your works and get connected with you?
You can find more of my work on my IG: @The_Ryan_Joseph or from my links: bio. site/VisualRhythm
Big thanks to Malvie for the opportunity to share my story.
Fashion Designer: Nolan Dean
Model: Tina Atrin
Photographer: Ryan Joseph
You can read The MAIN ISSUE Vol. 22 here: