Friend folio; Ryan Johnson

Well it's been a while since we did one of these! Bon bons, I would like to introduce you to Ryan Johnson! A 19 year old photographer from Manchester. After attending college Ryan decided to take a risky venture into the world of work instead of taking the more conventional route of university and my gosh, has it payed off! Ryan now works for Photography studio 'Benchmark photography' and has also learnt to dive, in pursuit of his passion for wildlife photography. Ryan has been involved in many aspects of photography including fashion, weddings, architecture and events.

So Ryan, 2010 was quite a busy year for you?

''2010 was a very busy year for me, I got taken on a few months earlier in 2009 at a Family Portrait and Wedding Photographers, which has led into my venturing into Underwater Photography as my boss is a Master Scuba Diving Instructor and has taught me to dive and given me access to a range of new kit

I also ended up in the Red Sea with a camera in my hands which gave me a chance to get up close and personal with sharks and some amazing animals.''

What is your favourite subject to photograph and why?

''My favourite subject to photograph has to be the Wildlife, its really rewarding when you catch a bird mid-flight or go searching around the reefs underwater for the smallest strangest fish you can find which you would normally overlook if your not careful. It's not only capturing the image which is important for me, its the whole experience of being a few feet away from some of the most amazing animals in the world that you seem to not realise is around you even in the UK.''

When looking for fashion photography models, what do you look for and where do you source from?

''When I am after models for fashion photography I tend to have a subject in mind and take it from there, a great site for finding models is purestorm as you can search by height, hair colour and other factors to find something perfect for your style of shoot.''

Has there been any awkward moments?

''Generally you are always going to encounters awkward moments, one of them that has stuck in my head was when we did a shoot for a young model she came in very little explanation of what she wanted apart from a photo of herself half naked and her "bottom". My job then during the retouching stage as she sat next to me was to make her "bottom" bigger, it was a strange moment when the person sat next to you is telling you to zoom in and make it bigger.''

How did you get to where you are now?

''I got to where I am now by building my portfolio up in my own time traveling around the UK whenever I could and photographing everything, It really is the best way to learn hands on and being thrown in, my first day at work in the studio I was assisting as a second shooter at a wedding. You really do have to be open to new things and ready to grab opportunities before they fly by.''

What inspires you?

''Inspiration comes in many forms, not always visually I was reading a book about a Photographer who really does put the work in and is willing to die for his work, he basically went out in the arctic for three months by himself with some camera kit and a few provisions to capture the images he wanted, you have to really be willing to go that extra mile to get the images or you will end up average like everybody else.''

Any top tips for budding Photographers?

''The only advice I could really give to people wanting to get into photography and make something of it is keep shooting anything and everything, but only showcase your best. The only way to learn is when you get an SLR is put the camera on manual and not take it off until you know it inside and out and it almost becomes automatic you know how to compensate for every factor with your new found extended limb.''

You can now buy prints of some of Ryan's best pieces here and follow him on twitter here to find out all about Ryan's new work and charity exhibitions!

Love J.