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Meet Ryan Rivas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Rivas.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Photography wasn’t always a passion of mine, but I quickly fell in love with it after purchasing a toy camera on a whim. As summer break was approaching during my final year in college, I thought it would be fun to have a camera to capture memories with my friends. However, I soon found out that I really enjoyed taking photos of people. It wasn’t long after this summer that I bought my first “real” camera. I wanted to buy a Leica, but the camera was, and still is, too expensive for me! So, I instead found a Cold War-era Soviet Leica copy, the Zorki-6. And as they say, the rest is history.

Please tell us about your art.
My photography today focuses primarily on portraiture work, companied with fashion, lifestyle and occasionally intimate/boudoir work. I’ve always been fascinated by capturing emotion with a single image frame. With everyone being able to take photos with their smart phones now, I feel I have to constantly challenge my limits in order to make a photo that stands out from the plethora of work available on sites like Instagram.

I’m always most intrigued by the eyes of my subject, as I believe they serve as the portal to the emotion I want the viewers to feel. Ultimately, I want the viewer to be able to feel something when looking at my images.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
With the advent of social media and smartphones, it’s now more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve as an artist. We, as a collective, have become reliant on instant gratification, which I feel is more a curse than a blessing. It is nice to have instant access to everything, like news about the latest world events, because it brings us closer to the far reaches of the world. However, I also feel that this instantaneous communication acts as a detriment to long lasting impressions on our audience. People are now more fickle than ever. What once was fifteen minutes of fame being now only fifteen seconds. And while the goal of an artist may not be to gain fame and fortune, this fleeting mindset of the general masses makes growing a following very difficult.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have been published in small indie fashion magazines like Edward Magazine and You Are Fire Magazine and have also been seen in Chicago’s CS Men’s Book. Most of my newest work can be found on Instagram (@rivasphotography) and on my website. I’m still working at getting my first big break, as I’d love to shoot a campaign for a fashion label!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portrait of Ryan Rivas by Melissa Ferrara

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