30 January 2008

PART.DOS.[yes i am bilingual... okay, maybe just un poco]

so here is how we ended our shoot. winding down the rolling hills towards morro bay, carlie and i found this forrest of eucalyptus trees. the sun was cutting straight through, as a giant blade of soft late-afternoon light. and then it was time to get wet. enjoy.

on a side note, yesterday i was stoked to spend some time with a local group of founders from the fast-track-photographer movement. each of you, blessed me and i am so glad to be together in this industry, with people willing to remain true to themselves, rather than my own island. you have challenged me to embrace more of what makes me... well... me.

so thanks, dane, for sharing the whole fast track philosophy, and thanks to mark, micah, jen, and karey, for taking a quick time out to share what is going on in your life and in your business (which we have found to be one in the same.)

28 January 2008


so, after my last post, i alluded to the business i mixed with pleasure on a recent trip to san luis obispo. however, like they say (whoever “they” are), if you love what you do for a profession, you will never work a day in your life. i am stoked to have the opportunity to shoot beautiful people, people in love, people in the middle of their story, and this shoot was no different.

in fact, at certain points i felt under-gunned, like i was the one who should be taking the direction. but, as God had it in for me on this day, i was blessed to work with a beautiful model who felt comfortable enough to try a few things, as i made recommendations. in fact, i had such a hard time choosing, and so i decided to break this post up in two. (check back tomorrow for part dos)

and thanks to teddy for letting me experiment with a couple of his wider lenses. teddy is another rad photog, who also happens to be working with foto cabina, an uber-cool option if you are considering a photo-booth for your wedding.

here are some of the rockin cool shots we pulled off, at the start of our shoot.

gettin' all tangled in the brush...
one of my favorites.

and, make sure to check back tomorrow for the rest of the fun...


i stepped thru the colorful courtyard and upon entering the door to what i thought looked like the front desk, i was greeted with a warm smile, a warm kitchen, and a warm welcome. i know you may think i should stop typing for a moment and pick up a thesaurus, but i really can’t think of a better way to describe the petit soleil.

from the brief tour and friendly conversation cole, our greeter, offered my bride and i upon our arrival, to dining on the best quiche and french toast i have ever had, served by none other than the charming owners, john & dianne, this little bed-and-breakfast tucked away in san luis obispo, provided a relaxing experience highlighted with details.

carlie and i wanted to get away to recharge and celebrate our 6 month anniversary, and i am so glad that we found this place. turn-down service complete with chocolate truffles, wine and appetizers in the late afternoon... that’s right, i did say chocolate truffles (i felt like a kid blessed with a surprise from the tooth fairy, when we returned to the room and found those two little treats on our pillows).

anyways, carlie and i had a great trip. we doted on each other, and soaked up a relaxing couple of days in the sleepy little town of slo. i found some time to grab a few shots around the grounds, and also spent some time with this super-hot-up-and-coming super-model (check back later for the images from our shoot).

here is a small taste of petit soleil. bon apetit...

john & dianne nailed every detail, even down to the bi-lingual "do not disturb" sign
this is what the best quiche in the world looks like... oh, it looks like you were too late.

23 January 2008


i was reading tim ferriss' blog and stopped in my tracks after i read the following:

In their fascinating study “Would you be happier if you were richer?”, published in Science, Princeton professors Alan Krueger and Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for his work in behavioral economics, found that perhaps the best indicator of happiness was frequency of eating with friends and family.

If you have to chose one activity to produce an emotional upswing, start breaking bread more often with those who make you smile.

i felt affirmed when i realized that one of my new year's resolutions was on the right track; to actively pursue community more consistently. in fact, just over a week ago, carlie and i had lunch with our new friends amy & aaron of ahs photography, and our friend and neighbor mark of mark brooke photography. and i can tell you that it definitely was refreshing. i look forward to more of these lunch and dinner dates in 2008. and if you have any desire to break bread, drop me a line...

i googled the word "happy" and this little guy popped up. i had to share.

19 January 2008


so my bride and i are pretty excited to celebrate an entire 6 months as man-and-wife this monday. as an early surprise, i planned a trip north, to san luis obispo. i am so stoked to spend the next two days away from the hustle of the orange county lifestyle, and "slo" down a little bit (i am sorry, i know the pun is bad, but i just had too...).

anyways, the inspiring cameron ingalls was kind enough to provide a few recommendations, and at his word, we will be staying at a quaint bed 'n' breakfast, and no doubt, dining at the best the central coast has to offer. not having even left yet, i wish we had more time to spend. regardless, i am thankful for the next couple of days, where i simply have the honor and pleasure of hanging out with and loving on the most amazing woman this side (or the other side for that matter) of the mississippi.

in love. in the middle of our story.


13 January 2008


saturday morning, i snuck out of bed a little early. okay, so it was about 7am. i know. way too early for a day off. but the night before i had read that there was a good chance for waves, and sure enough, when i checked the report, the word was good.

so i filled a thermos of hot water and made my way for the coast. however, when i pulled up to cliffs, on pch, this is what i faced...

...i believe the term is pea soup. when i pulled my suit on and stood at the water's edge, i was still shocked that i couldn't see past the white wash relentlessly emerging from behind the blurry curtain of floating condensation. but i had come to surf, and surf was what i was going to do. but after ducking a few inside waves, and a serious ice-cream headache, i looked up at a monstrous wall of water that seemed to violently jump out of the abyss. but i had come to surf...

so i made a quick turn and pointed my board for the beach and paddled back in fear. i was almost ashamed, despite the lack of a heckling beach crowd (again, it was just after 7am on a saturday morning in the cold and the fog).

it was funny, because almost immediately i realized how hard i push myself to perform some times. even when the circumstances aren't right, and i am not really "all-about-it," i feel this need to finish the course i started to consider myself successful, or even more deeply, to consider myself valuable.

now i know this may seem like a stretch, relating to a drab surf session in bad conditions. but, once i changed course, drove out of the fog, and found a few waves of my own, i felt grace. once i released my expectations, my step was lighter.

what are you holding on to? even though the start may have been romantic and exciting, what are you gritting your teeth to finish? could you change course...

11 January 2008


"we should guess... and we should write it down and put it in the jar... but we can't peek at each other's answer... and there should be some incentive for whoever is closer... but..."
"but what?"
"but i can't think of anything good."

carlie and i have this little mason jar, and whenever we empty our pockets, or center consoles, or fanny packs (okay maybe not the fanny packs), we make the deposit into our mason jar. earlier today, i noticed that our jar is almost full, and i felt the warmth swell up under my step. i felt the way a 4th grader does when his teacher lets him color in the top of the thermometer signifying the accomplishment of a school fundraising goal reached.

you see, when the change hits the top, we dump it out and go on a date... and even more exciting, this will be our first time emptying the jar. and since it will be our first time, i thought it might be cool to wager at the total of its contents.

any ideas on a prize for the winner? we could use a little help.

06 January 2008


there is nothing quite like developing and printing your own film. i think it is the same reason i love the typewriter-style fonts; it makes me feel closer to the writing process. and being so intoxicated with the idea of story, i want to be as close to the process as i can get. it is the same reason why, in my first black-and-white photo class, i loved creating my own sloppy borders.

so, with the help of my good friend mark with his photoshop skills and my wonderful wife with her behind-the-lens skills, i developed the next step to my look.

i hope you enjoy the new, light version of the blog. i also wanted to share the new sloppy border i came up with, after mark showed me brusheezy.com, a sweet resource for cool brushes, textures, and borders, that work with photoshop.

i may not be spending hours in a dimly lit room in front of an enlarger, but with the advance of technology and my new tools, i am doing my best to respect the process. enjoy.

03 January 2008


i wanted to drop a quick line and focus on one of the new year's resolutions i did not allude to in my last post... to begin giving away the best of what i got. i realize their are certain things i may pick up along my so-far succinct journey that could benefit a bride-to-be or another photog.

so in my first, give-it-away post, i want to talk about two things: wedding budgets and some big MAC theory.

for the bride-to-be, after the excitement of your engagement settles (although it probably never totally settles) one of your first tasks may be to arrange a budget.

how does that happen? no fun.

from champagne and flowers, to slicing up your checkbook. anyways, costofwedding.com is a cool resource i just ran across. all you do is type in your zip code, and up pops the "average" budget for your "average" wedding in your area. this might be just enough to get you started, but remember, it's YOUR day. and YOU are not average. so feel free to figure out what is most important to you, and use your resources accordingly. these kind of budget tools really help to answer the question "what's the going rate for a dj (getaway car, reception hall... insert product or service here)?"

for the photog, i would like to introduce you to the big MAC theory (unless of course you have already taken bill hendrick's photo class at ventura college, in which case you might already be proficient), and no i am not talking about two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-pickles-onions-on-a-sesame-seed-bun...

i'm talking about Mystery, Ambiguity, Contradiction

my first photo class at my hometown community college, proved to give me the foundation to harness my passion and my art. on one of our first days of class, our prof, pulled out the big guns and talked to us about the big MAC theory. he said if we could incorporate one or more of these attributes into our photos, people would be drawn to our work. i learned about the big MAC theory about 5 years ago, and have used it in all different areas of my life.  i figured if i could add a little mystery to my dating life, it might spice things up a bit (and, i'd say it worked since i do happen to have scored the hottest woman this side of the mississippi).  so, here's the breakdown...

mystery - get in real close, crop off half of someone's face, use shallow depth of field, or maybe a silhouette here and there and lead the viewer to pause and crane her neck a bit to find out what is really going on in your photo

ambiguity - this one can be a real hoot... take a boot and use it as a beer mug, or how about a 
chunk of cheese for a hat (wait... i think people really do that)

contradiction - this is why the trash-the-dress-phenomenon has taken off... take the epitome of pristine beauty (aka: a bride) and have her romp around in the mud. voila. contradiction.

have fun with it.  i'd love to see how you can throw a little big MAC into your images.

01 January 2008


even if you have never run a race, the image of a single hand holding a gun steady, pointing straight to the sun, brings about a sense of anticipation. a sense that we have finally come to the start. it is funny, because i tend to think (rather, tend to have thought) that the start is something that is always behind us. because, for lack of better explanation... we have already begun.

however, i am now thinking, with cliche revolver-pointed-at-the-sky, that the start may be something we prepare for.


the shot.

now the start really is behind us, and all we can do is make a run for it.

with 2008 upon us, i am excited. i am excited to make a run for it. and like the marathon i ran a little over a year ago, i don't really care about taking first place... i just want to run the best race i can. i feel that 2007 was my training for developing the photographer in gabriel.ryan.photographer. i have found my coach, a support team, some running mates, and a few sponsors.

i am a first-year photographer. never again will i have the chance to say that, and where some might hide behind their lack of history in this industry, i welcome it. in 2007, i took my hobby, massaged it with a bit of passion, and turned it into the start of a career. i want to offer a special thank you to those "sponsors," my clients, who have already invited me into their story. your support keeps me running.

with the race on, i have set some resolutions that i would like to share:

*i will shoot 20 weddings this year
*i will limit the amount of junk food i eat, work out at least 3 times a week, and maintain my goal wait of 165 lbs (currently 150)
*i will actively pursue community by spending time with others at least once a week, outside of home and work
*i will run each decision, major & minor by my two core values: freedom & value
*i will take my amazing bride on vacation for two weeks straight at some point in the year
*i will continue to live below my means, eliminating the remainder of credit card and car debt for both myself and my wife, working towards a long term goal of a 100% cash lifestyle

are you still training? you in the race? a new year is here. and though i know i will surely stumble and grow weary at times, i will still run the best race i can. how about you?