For this week’s photo challenge, our Guest Photographer Judge is Ryan Brenizer, a very versatile and accomplished worldwide photographer who resides in New York.
Ryan Brenizer is one of the top wedding and event photographers in New York City, photographing more than 225 weddings as far as Singapore and Hong Kong for a wide variety of clients. He has covered the Pope, Muhammad Ali, and the past three U.S. presidents, including being the last non-campaign photographer allowed near Obama and McCain in their last meeting before the 2008 election (and is booked to do so for 2012!) He is an official photography expert for B&H Photo, Adorama, and Amazon.com, and a depth-of-field-enhancing panorama method he popularized has become named after him (which he finds amusing but flattering).
Ryan’s Photography Journey
I began my photography career as an editor of a few upstate NY newspapers. Mere weeks after starting, I won a statewide award for coverage of President Clinton — more for tenacity than technical knowledge — and I thought “Hey, there might be something to this photography thing.” I kept shooting more and more difficult assignments to challenge myself, such as Olympic sports in the Lake Placid area, and eventually became a writer and photographer for Columbia University in New York City. I began my freelance career by documenting Nobel Prize-winner James Watson and more of the world’s top scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories. Eventually I realized that wedding photography had changed from the “Look at the camera and smile!” days of yore, and that there was a market for people who loved to tell stories about people and emotions and relationships. I photographed my first wedding as part of a long-term documentary project about New York City comedians, and I was hooked. I’ve never looked back.
Q&A with Ryan
- What was your favorite photography moment from this past year?So hard to choose. Heading to Singapore for a wedding was an amazing experience. But seeing resilience through a weddingderailed by a hurricane was amazing in its own way.
- Where do you find inspiration to keep your photography creative and unique?I try and find it from all sorts of places, not just the field that I work in, because that can narrow your creative toolbox. Current photojournalism, the International Center for Photography, and so many others, more than just wedding photos.
- Do you keep a camera with you all the time? My D3ses are too big, so I bought a Fuji X100 to take everywhere, and my iphone absolutely everywhere.
- Is there a particular photographer whose work inspires you?Joe McNally’s ability to solve problems absolutely amazes me.
- Do you have a “most embarrassing” photography moment you can share with us? All I can say is, that when you do a job where you have to bend over a lot very quickly, it’s a great idea to bring an extra pair of pants.
- Quote to live by?
If you do only what you know and do it very well, chances are that you won’t fail. You’ll just stagnate, and your life will get less and less interesting, and that’s failure by erosion. — Twyla Tharp
- What do you love most about capturing faces? We look at faces our entire lives. It’s the first thing our eyes latch onto as a baby. There’s so much we can read in them that we can’t even verbalize. Every face is more than a book, it’s a slice of life.
We are so glad to work with you as our Guest Photographer Judge, Ryan! We can’t wait to see which photos you choose as your favorites from our “Raise your Hands” photo challenge.