We love photographer Ryan Tuttle, who joined us on Shoestring Adventures in Joshua Tree and Big Sur to the capture memories. Just last year, she left her full-time job in LA to pursue photography full-time. Over the past 8 years, she has a developed the super human power to take beautiful photos without disturbing the moment. What’s her secret?
Stick to your impulses, find your style, and shoot what you want to shoot.
We look forward to watching this talented lady’s career grow and prosper. Learn more about Ryan in our interview below, and follow her adventures on Instagram to get inspired!
Shoestring Warrior: Ryan
What are your passions outside of work?
Rock climbing, playing drums, playing guitar, reading about space and obsessing over TV shows.
How would you describe your level of camping experience?
Advanced – I go every chance I can get!
Tell us about yourself!
I am a freelance photographer based out of Monterey, CA. I’ve been shooting for about 8 years now. Just this last year, l left a full time job in LA as a photo editor at NBC Universal to pursue photography full time.
When did you discover your passion for photography?
It all started because I wanted to be closer to my favorite bands in high school. I would bring my little 4 MP Olympus Stylus Verve (the most stylish point and shoot you’ll ever see) to concerts and try to get really cool pictures to hang on my wall and show my friends. Then I realized you could get photo passes to concerts, and it continued to escalate from there. That, and I was always slightly obsessed with cameras themselves. I used to go to Circuit City and mess around with the biggest display cameras I could find and think, “I’m going to buy this one day.”
What motivates you to document your experiences in nature?
Similar to the music, shooting outdoors is just my way of getting closer to it. When I look at photos from past adventures, I can remember the exact feeling I had when I took it. There’s nothing else I’ve found that can give you that.
What do you love most about living in Monterey? What is your favorite local spot to take photos?
I grew up here so I am biased, but I love living so close to the ocean and having somewhat of a small town feel, but still big enough to keep you curious. Come up with a good excuse to get through the Pebble Beach gates without paying, and drive down to 17-mile drive near Cypress Golf Course. Endless photo opportunities on the water and in the forest.
If you could pass down one camera to your grandchildren, which one would it be, and why?
I’d be interested to see if and how the Canon 5D Mark II holds up that far down the line. My dad bought that one for me and even though I don’t currently use it anymore, it’s a very special camera. I almost sold it a few months ago, and I’m very glad I didn’t!
Do you have any advice for adventurers wanting to pursue a career in outdoor photography?
I’m constantly learning new things, and I wish I knew the secret. I think what has helped me the most has been connecting with other photographers and constantly seeking out new opportunities to shoot. I am inspired the most when I meet other inspired people with passions and goals of their own. It motivates me to get better and to actively pursue and create opportunities. It can be so easy to see someone else’s work and think yours is terrible, but I always try to use that as a reminder that your work is your own, and you have to create what you believe in. Stick to your impulses, find your style, and shoot what you want to shoot.
What is your favorite piece of camera gear to bring on the trail?
It has to be the Peak Design capture clip (which was recommended to me by Alyx!). I’ve found that if my camera is deep in my backpack, it takes a pretty incredible moment for me to stop and pull it out. But with my camera always readily at hand, I shoot more and capture more of the in-between moments that I love.
Now that you have been on two Shoestring Adventures as our official triptographer, can you tell us your favorite memory?
This isn’t a specific moment, but on both trips I’ve loved sitting around the campfire on the first night with this group of people that you’ve only just met a couple hours ago, and feeling totally at ease like you’ve been friends for years. For me, that’s the best part about going on these trips and being able to connect so easily with people who enjoy the same things you do.
Where to next?
Next I am heading out to Big Basin Redwoods SP with the Topo Designs crew!
The perfect s’more:
I’m honestly terrible at making s’mores, but if I could give it that perfect golden crisp, and warm the chocolate just a little bit so it doesn’t completely melt…mmmmmm.
Photos © 2016 Ryan Tuttle