“An Artist From Artist Town”

The UNXPSD had the chance to speak with the very talented Ryan McKinnon, Photographer and videographer, based in Oregon.

1. Tell us a little about you ?

I am 23 year olds, I live in portland Oregon. I am a full time creative, I quit my job and dropped out of college in march of 2015. I was going to school for design and working at a drive up coffee stand when I had the opportunity to travel with a few musicians and ran with it. I’ve been able to travel to over 15 states doing this and met so many awesome artists. My lady, paris call and I have been creating together for about 7 or 8 months and we have been dating since christmas day of ’15. She has been modeling for nine years and has so much to teach people. She is also a creative director and having someone there to direct the model while I focus on getting the right shot lifts a lot of pressure off me. Plus hey, who wouldn’t want to work with their beautiful lady and create art?

2. How has social media affected your career ? 

The social media community is a weird thing for me, not in a bad way. It gets me a decent amount of jobs, but a lot of gigs in social media don’t always pan out the way you want. I try to stay off my phone most of the day and I shoot almost everyday. I like to spend time creating and planning out projects. I post regularly at 9pm and post a set of three images from the same set. I shoot so much it’s hard to display everything. I feel that posting three images gives people a better taste of the story or vibe. My love paris was the one who first convinced me to start posting in three sets. It might be spammy to some people, however I normally just post at night. I take days off from posting only when I’m busy.

3. Describe the type of feeling you get when you have an opportunity arise ?

I am a firm believer in taking opportunities you get and running with them. Something small can turn into something much bigger. In good ways or possibly bad, just have to be conscious and aware of all the outcomes.

4. In your opinion what city is the best for photographers?

I honestly wouldn’t know! I’ve traveled a lot this last year and met so many people. But as far as my personal preference I think portland Oregon. Everyone here seems to have some sort of artistic interest. You could ask anyone on the street here and guaranteed they have some sort of interest, hobby or career in the art field.

5. In terms of gear what is your current setup and next?

I’m currently shooting with the canon 5d mark iii. I am only using two lenses right now, the Zeiss Milvus 50mm 1.4 And then the Zeiss 35mm 2. I would like to grab one of the new sony mirrorless cameras. I’ve been using the 5d mark iii for over a year now and I don’t really want to switch to a new system. I’m very happy with what I can get with it!

6. Do you believe jealousy in social media is appropriate for photographers?

I think it’s kind of dumb, I don’t get jealous of other photographers likes or followers. I don’t post for likes or follows, I just want to share what I create. I honestly think a lot of jealousy between photographers stems from being self conscious about their work.

7. How did you get your start in being a photographer?

I’ve really only started posting my portrait photography since January of last year. I had the opportunity in December of 2014 to start working with musicians. I have to thank jesse lawson for giving me a shot. Jesse taught me the ropes and introduced me to so many incredible artists. Starting with around 400 followers in January of 2015. I’m currently sitting close to 10k followers. After meeting my muse, paris call we started creating ten times more. We traded tips and shot all the time. We currently shoot for a decent amount of clothing brands as well as collaborate with other models and photographers. Having paris come to most of my shoots to creative direct has been a dream. I’m not the strongest director and with paris’s 9 years of modeling experience, it helps me focus on the shot and my camera settings.

8. What advice can you give for photographers just starting?

I would highly suggest finding a mentor. Find someone who you look up to for tips and tricks. Once you have one solid mentor, find 5 more. Collaborate with other artists; models, other photographers, painters, clothing designers, musicians, event planners, local mom and pop shops, any one you can create with. Every time you create with someone new you will have something from that experience you can take from it and apply it to your craft. Practice makes perfect. I shot over 100,000 images last year, and I’m still learning everyday.

Make sure to show your support



Here are a few of Ryan’s Favorites


Authors Take: Ryan is an inspiration and all I can say is he is someone to learn from. His outlook on sets are phenomenal, and provides the best insight into creative work.

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