Signature artist of the month
EDITORIAL LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHER
RYAN J. LANE
Ryan J. Lane captures the small business community and artisan lifestyle through an authentic lens.
With his desire to capture authentic moments, photographer Ryan J. Lane is fascinated by life around him.
“As a photographer, or anyone who is involved in visual images and art, you’re constantly taking in what you see,” he said. “We live in such a visually saturated world, I feel like I’m not struggling for inspiration; everywhere I look I’m inspired.”
It’s no wonder, considering Ryan has made Portland, Oregon his home -- an innovative city that boasts a rich, progressive culture.
“There’s a big emphasis on craftsmanship and small business here, businesses that are really intentional about the quality of materials and the ingredients they use in their food,” Ryan said. “That has been really helpful not only as a consumer, but as a lifestyle photographer. It has allowed me to stay ahead of the trends because they’re all unfolding in front of me.”
Two of the trends that Ryan finds most compelling are the Portland coffee and bicycle cultures, which are prominent in the region.
Over time, he has made many friends who are part of these communities, which has afforded him the opportunity to shoot in several authentic coffee and bike shops.
“I’m shooting real small businesses, which is cool because I’m documenting these real experiences and moments. It’s almost like editorial lifestyle photography,” he said. “They’re all doing something they enjoy and are interested in, and that is reflected in the authenticity of the image.”
His images not only promote these individual businesses, but they provide effective and relatable content that other small businesses can use to represent their own visions.
“I’m looking to create images that tell a story and look beautiful; that’s my goal.”
Although his work has been used by several small businesses, Ryan wasn’t born with a love of photography. After failing a photography class in high school, becoming a photographer wasn’t quite the career path Ryan expected to take. It wasn’t until college that he was reintroduced to the art by a few friends who were submitting images to iStock by Getty Images. Inspired by their success, he decided to give photography another try and taught himself to use a digital camera while simultaneously submitting to iStock.
To his surprise, his photos were well-received, and he increasingly improved his craft. In fact, his images were being licensed so frequently that a few years after graduating, Ryan quit his day job at a day care center and decided to pursue photography full time.
“It’s not a glamorous story in that it was my dream to be a photographer growing up, but that is almost more of a testament to how great an opportunity stock photography can be,” Ryan said. “If you’re creative and you have a desire to learn, there’s an opportunity for success.”
Ryan's photography highlights all the different facets of small business and the rich, progressive culture inspired by his hometown.
Each month we give away a free image from our Signature Artist of the Month. Download yours now and start creating your own inspiring project.
Since he would go there regularly to edit and upload his photos to iStock by Getty Images, over time, he became friends with the owner. They eventually made an arrangement that they would give Ryan coffee in exchange for taking images of the shop.
“The owner is passionate about coffee,” Ryan said. “His shop provides single origin beans, roasted to precision and perfection, and prepared with utmost care. The setting of the shop, his candor, and his employees graciously modeling for me have made for some great and compelling lifestyle imagery that tells the true story of a healthy and robust local business."