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Check out Ryan Holden’s Artwork

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

Ryan, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I came around to photography during high school where I took a subpar photo class. The direction and learning were minimal, but it felt natural. I bought a point-and-shoot camera after having completed the class that I used to shoot things like skateboarding, holidays and family vacations. Once smartphones came to market around 2007, I’d primarily use my iPhone to take images. It wasn’t until I began dating my now wife when my interest became serious. She had gifted me one of the first generation GoPros and it changed the way I viewed photography.

The waterproof camera allowed me to get unique images that (at the time) few were actually getting, specifically in the ocean. Around this time I began to take seriously the post-processing of my photos and eventually picked up a DSLR. More recently I’ve embraced the minimalist approach and shoot on a crop-sensor mirrorless body. As most creatives might agree, the way I choose to express myself through my photos has evolved and continues to do so. I believe that’s one way we continue to engage the audience and ourselves.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My first real photographic inspiration was the ocean. While it could largely fall into the “landscape” category, there were so many unique touches you could impose on the photo that could make each wave or surfer remarkable. At the time, my friends and I were spending so much time at the beach that it was a natural subject for me. I’ve always used my camera as an excuse to be outside or doing something fun and people online picked up on that. The message in my images is a subtle push to motivate people to venture off and see more of what’s around them or to take a new perspective on the ordinary.

When it’s appropriate, I try to impart a bit of education on the viewer. This might come through as a piece of simple scientific wisdom, or a nudge to be more considerate to the natural world around us that we sometimes take for granted. My hope is that when someone sees a photo of mine they begin to plan that next big vacation, take an evening to watch a sunset, or even just dedicate an afternoon to being outside and away from distractions, like cell phones, that have become an extension of us.

What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Create more often. I continually find myself caught up in the learning and motivation that often accompanies creativity. It’s better to find myself working and enjoying the craft than to be caught on YouTube and reading articles about technique. I’d encourage everyone doing something creative to keep working and to keep sharing.

It’s often easy for us to tell what good art is and early on, when we first start making, we can tell we’re not performing at that level. It’s best to keep working to drive improvement. I’d encourage people to find Ira Glass’ interview that’s been dubbed “The Gap” for a more elaborate explanation of this.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
On social media, I’m most active on Instagram. It’d be great if you went to follow me on there and strike up a conversation. Over the last 8-9 months, I’ve had a renewed focus to keep my website up to date and share recent images and thoughts. That can be found at

Otherwise, I’d ask that people make it a point to acknowledge the artists they know, and those in their community, with a simple comment or word of encouragement – the support and confidence goes a long way!

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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