Ryan Longnecker

“Just go find what’s beautiful around you”


Hey Ryan, tell us a little about yourself !

I’m 31, married with 1 kid, who’s birthday it is today, and one due in 3 weeks. I live in Orange County, CA and I work professionally with creative direction, ministry, and do photography gigs when they present themselves. I went to school to study music and sort of “happened upon” this whole photography thing. I grew up in the Eastern Sierras so an appreciation of nature and beauty is kind of in my bones.


I pushed against beach photos for a long time because I’m so much more drawn to the mountains and fog, but I realized that just like the mountains, the ocean has character and unpredictable moods that are worth noticing and exploring. Even so, I’m way more interested in keeping with a direction consistent with ethos than with style; for me that is to find ways to show people the beauty you see around you and allow your style to be influenced and to develop as you do as a person.



I’m more interested in beautiful stories than I am pretty pictures, and am way more personally compelled by photo journalism and try to incorporate that inspiration myself by telling a story with each picture I take.


What gear are you using?

I have the Canon 5D classic, MKII, and MKIII. My lens setup is boring but is the 50L, 85L, 17-40L and the sigma 35 Art. I have some macro tubes as well. I’ve messed with film but don’t see it in my future (we’re better as friends). Oh and the iPhone 6.


How do you see your future?

I am currently putting a lot of energy into using my photography for justice organizations and to tell stories that matter, and am in talks with people that empower foreign nationals to prioritize and strategize solutions for the needs of their community. I also am slowly working on telling a story coming out of the OC that more people need to hear, but it is sensitive so it will take some time I’m sure.


In the meantime I think there are beautiful scenarios and people all over the place and I’m trying to train my eye to see them. I see people that inspire me and it almost feels as though they can feel the heartbeat of where they live through their photos, and that’s what I want to get to.


How did you start photography?

I started photography by joining the yearbook team for my college to photograph for them. I had a camera on me at all times and just started shooting things that were fun and my roommates and the beach. Once I graduated I started a wedding photography business with a friend of mine and from there have slowly met people who are both inspirational, ridiculously talented and humble, and that has allowed me to go on some pretty great adventures and be challenged by what they know and their style too.


do you have a favorite shot?

I think it’s almost impossible to pick my favorite shot. I think the first time I stared down on the ocean and felt as small as I did and caught a wave cresting that felt good, and I realized that would be something I did more often. I also have images that are attached to some of my favorite memories that have nothing to do with how they look. And then there are the more subtle and minimalist images that I take that inspire me and feel fresh because they are so different than what I typically post. But I don’t post things that I don’t believe in or that don’t inspire me on some level. So there’s your long non-answer.


Is there anything you want to say at the end?

Just go find what’s beautiful around you, your city, the surroundings, the quieter stories begging to be told, and be inspired by those that tell those stories well and let them influence you and don’t be ashamed about trying new things, by crediting the styles of those you’ve tried to emulate, and by the humble reality of the slow process of creative growth.


follow the amazing work of Ryan


Comments (4)

  1. Nicole Goenner

    Gorgeous stuff, Ryan!

  2. Chelsea Gray

    Stunning imagery! I’m very very new to VSCO and was wondering which film you used for the "bluey" shots like the first image in the post. A little help would be nice, thanks! I’m a little overwhelmed with the amount of films to choose from at the moment 🙂

    • Lukas Piatek

      You might want to check with Ryan, he knows better but im pretty sure that some of those are not edited with vsco but with ryan own presets ! =) Some of those are edited with the Fuji 400H Vibrant as a base however

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