It’s time to meet Josh Ryder!
Josh started as our favorite intern and rapidly became a crucial member of the Team. He brings the fun to our team and we don’t know what we’d do without him!
1. How did you get involved with SPS?
A few years ago I had the fortune to travel to Disney and kept seeing every third family with a “fancy” camera bouncing off their hip. This sparked my interest in photography and wanting to capture moments as our kids grew. I’m a local guy so I had the good fortune to run into Kyle (of course I asked for an autograph) and SPS was a natural fit for my learning style.
2. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Myself? I’m married to a super-talented artist and fortunately that produced two really great photo subjects. I have a ton of interests, love to read, but chiefly I’d have to say that I love learning. Doesn’t matter what, I’ll research it to death if you’d like me to. If you like to run, listen to podcasts, or know your way around a board game; we’re already best friends. I have a history in Student Ministry work but recently switched gears to teach at the junior high level at our local Christian K-8 school.
3. What’s your favorite thing to shoot?
Maybe it’s my learning personality or that I still consider myself a hobbyist- but I don’t have a favorite thing to shoot. The closest thing that I can tell you is that I love the next new technique to try. I do love shooting my family and creating memories with them. I’ve been surprised by my interest in landscape photography- there’s something about getting out before the sun is out and finding interesting subjects and light. But then there’s also candids, portraits, and head shots. My answer is All, All the Favorites.
4. Who, besides Kyle Shultz, are your photography idols?
Without Kyle, the field is pretty narrow right? Clark Little has to be right up there. He’s a photographer who shoots waves in Hawaii (where do I sign up for that?) I appreciate the technical achievement, but anyone who puts all the pieces together in a wetsuit, hanging off a board right in the middle of the break gets my nod. You can follow Clark on Instagram @clarklittle
5. What’s your favorite piece of gear?
I recently picked up the Sigma Art 35mm and couldn’t be happier with it. I shot several senior sessions, portraits, candids around the house, not to mention landscapes with it in the few months I’ve had it. It’s one of those “stuck-on” pieces of gear- that has been welded to the front of the camera and rarely find a reason to come off. (I should mention that I sleep with my 70-200 on my bedside table as well)
6. What gear have you bought that you wish you hadn’t bothered with?
Maybe it’s just my style and the distances that I find myself shooting at, but I was never impressed with the 24-70mm. I shot a promotional event at church and had the good fortune to shoot a rented 24-70 (my first experience with L glass), after checking the shots later I found that I shot everything from 60mm and up, and was usually wishing that I had more reach. (Another vote for the 70-200)
7. Do you have a favorite shot? Would you share it with us?
I have too many favorite shots! (I made him choose one. I’m mean like that.)
8. What’s in your ‘working’ bag? Why?
Being that I’m a hobbyist photographer it largely depends on what I’m shooting. If I had to pack for anything I’d grab my Canon 6D, Sigma Art 35mm, Canon 70-200mm, and where would I be without my 50mm?
9. If you had one (ish) piece of advice to share with beginners, what would it be?
If I could give one tip (well, maybe two) to everyone it would be that learning the exposure triangle, lighting falloff ratios, and lens breathing theory is great, but it’s all secondary to picking up the camera and getting out there to shoot and capture memories. Don’t out-think yourself! Put a camera in your hand and make those mistakes! Fake it until you make it, absolutely!
Additionally- give yourself permission to get the shot that you want to get. You have training, you have a fancy-pants camera, you ARE a photographer. Get out of those bleachers, off that seat, walk down that aisle! Kyle Shultz is virtually cheering you on; If he were there I guarantee he would hold your gear bag for you while you get that shot. Don’t worry what others are thinking about you, they’re probably wondering how you got to be so cool.
You can find Josh on Instagram @joshuaryder or hanging around the SPS Members Facebook groups.