Kristen Ryan, Unraveled | An Interview
Let us introduce you to the amazing Kristen Ryan. If you are not already following her on instagram, you must. Her art is like an extra shot of espresso in your morning coffee –– it wakes you up, revitalizes your spirit and gives you the jolt you need to get through the day. Her work is vibrant and colorful and most importantly, unique. She isn't falling into editing trends or styles, but instead, she creates work that is true to herself and we freaking love that about her.
For more inspiration from Kristen, check her:
| Instagram |
& here she is, unraveled...
What do you love to shoot most? I honestly just love to document my daily life. I have been doing a 365 project for the last four years and it has almost covered my children's entire lives. It has been so amazing to look back at our last four years through pictures and videos. In some ways it has made me a better person because of it, instead of always just trying to get from a to b it made me slow down and take in everything that surrounds me. It's ok to take the long way, or stop on the side of the road for a moment to grab a quick photo and I'm thankful the rest of my family seems to be ok with that too. For me finding those everyday moments and then turning them into a piece of art just fuels me, inspires me, and it makes me proud to do what I do, even if it is just for me and my family.
What inspires your art? My surroundings mixed with beautiful light. I can't help but grab my camera when I see a gorgeous sky in front of me, or the sun shining through the trees. Since working on shooting daily it really made me be more open to what is around me. It made me notice all the different light and shadows that I came across throughout the day. Watching my kids play and seeing how different light hit them in different ways. At one time in my life if I saw them throwing dirt at each other I would have told them to stop because someone was going to get dirt in their eye or they would get all dirty. Now I see them do it and I just ask them to take a few steps over into the sun and make sure they stand upwind to the dirt. Ha! If they find a puddle they want to jump in, sure, just let me get my camera first! I love these moments and I love to document them in my own way. I love to turn a simple moment into something that someone can say "Wow!" to.
What do you shoot with? I shoot with a Canon 6d and most of the time my 35mm is attached to my camera. Or my 24-105mm lens.
What other ways do you express your creativity? Photography is really my main outlet for creativity, I would love to learn how to write but I am just awful with putting together words which is another reason I do love photography so much. I like to sew and in the last couple of years have learned how to crochet. Luckily my kids are still young enough that they will actually wear my creations but I have a longs ways to go.
How do you de-stress at the end of the day? Some nights editing is my time to check out and just focus on me and nothing else, I can turn on some music or a show and just have fun. Other nights my husband and I both love to workout together. We have a simple little home gym in our garage that we will workout in after we put the kids to bed. When I met my husband we both worked at the YMCA and he was a personal trainer so he always has some crazy workout planned for us in the evenings. Which I always appreciate after its over.
What kind of music do you listen to while editing? The Lumineers and The Strumbellas are some of my favorites that are pretty much always playing in my house. My go to playlist on Spotify right now is Wild + Free that has a lot of folk type music, people like Vance Joy, Mumford & Sons, the Civiil Wars, First Aid Kit, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, etc.
What is your favorite book? I am in the middle of reading such an inspiring book it is called "A Beautiful Anarchy - When the Life Creative Becomes the Life Created" by David duChemin. It has been just what i've needed to hear lately.
Name one movie that inspires you. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
How do you handle self-doubt or creative slumps? For me when I hit those moments of self-doubt I just have to step back. I have to get back in my own head if that makes sense. I have to bring myself back to why I'm doing this and remind myself this is my own creative journey. Sometimes I feel like I live in self doubt, I see everything I'm doing wrong and I see how everyone is so much better than me. But then I have to tell myself why does that matter? I'm taking pictures because I want to document my family I'm not taking them so I can be better than anyone. If people want to follow my journey and see my photos i'm happy that they do but that is not why I take them, so I have to remind myself of that sometimes and bring myself back to that understanding. I enjoy following others work that I admire so I can grown and learn from them not to race them. Creative slumps are just a part of this journey. Over the last four years I have grown greatly aware of that fact. It is like a rollercoaster of emotion sometimes. If you hang on through the down times you can grow from them and learn, use that time to study something new or work on something out of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself in new ways and if you really need it step back for a few days and put a reminder in your phone however many days later to pick up your camera and just take a picture of anything. You will eventually find that creative spark again but there is no specific timeline for it so just hang on until you feel it again.
What has been the most difficult part of your creative journey? I would say this last year has been my toughest and I can't quite put my finger on why. I feel like I have stalled out for some reason. I feel a little lost on what is next in my journey. While I plan on continuing documenting my family and our daily lives I feel like I need more and I am just not sure what that is yet. So maybe it is just the unknown, but like I mentioned before I know this whole journey is a rollercoaster so I'm just going to ride it out until I figure that out. :)
Who is one of your favorite photographers? Oh my what a difficult question this is. I feel like I have so many that just constantly inspire me. Susan Grimes is one of those photographers that I think every time I see one of her photos I say Wow!