Your name: Ryan Katsanes
City, Country: Vancouver, Washington, USA
Website or Portfolio Site: www.katsanes.com
Preferred Social Network Account: Google+, r-k.me (redirects you to my G+ profile)
What is your name?
When did you begin listening to The Candid Frame?
Some time in 2007, but I've listened to every episode.
How long have you been shooting and what inspired your interest in photography?
I've been shooting with a dSLR since 2005, and with an interest in photography but point and shoot camera for about 14 years. To be honest I don't recall when my interest began, but it was catapulted by the purchase of my first dSLR after I had shot a bunch of film on a trip to Europe which cost me a fortune to develop a lot of horrible images! Ever since, I've shot as much as I could, learned as much as I could online and in classes, and listened to a variety of podcasts while driving around. I first heard of Ibarionex on The Focus Ring, I miss that podcast!
Do you have a preferred genre or specialty of photography? Why?
I definitely prefer portraiture. It's the connection with people that matters to me, conversations that happen that you wouldn't have expected to come up during the shoot, and the joy of seeing a happy client after they're presented with the proofs. For fun, I shoot a lot on the street. but I do that mostly for me as it allows me time to think and be alone in my head.
What subject matter, themes, ideas do you like to explore or inspire your photography? Why?
I consume photography from anywhere I can get it. More recently 500px.com has been a huge source of inspiration for me. There's so much quality work posted there that's on a level I can only hope to achieve some day! I listen to a few podcasts, such as On Taking Pictures which explores the theory, the art, and the struggles of photography versus the gear. Of course, The Candid Frame as well, I love hearing people's stories, how they came to be and how they've grown in their own careers. For me, I have more drive time than photography time these days, so listening to photography discussions on podcasts is my main source of inspiration. Podcasts keep me thinking about photography every day and makes me want to get out there and shoot as often as possible.
What creative or professional goals do you have for your photography?
Creatively, I want to master the use of off camera flash, specifically more than 2 flashes. Seeing the masters like David Hobby and Joe McNally only make me realize I've got a lot to learn! My professional goal is to get to the tipping point where I could potentially earn more money doing photography than I do in my day job, thus allowing me to quit my day job. I'm nowhere near there now, but I am always working toward the goal with hopes of achieving it within the next 10 years.
Do you have an interesting story or anecdote for one of the images you have submitted in your portfolio?
Many of the images submitted were taken behind-the-scenes on Alcatraz in areas the general public aren't allowed to go. Fortunately for me, my uncle Ray Katsanes works on the island in the maintenance department, and offered me a private tour before I moved up to the Pacific Northwest. My uncle probably knows more about Alcatraz than anyone working for the state park! An example of this is that the tour guides generally lie to the public about which cell was Al Capone's, it's not the one the guides point out! The real cell was on the second floor, and simply isn't as accessible for tours so they say it's one of the first floor cells. Getting to go up in the guard catwalks, and into buildings the public could see from afar but not approach, was pretty exciting. People were definitely jealous, and probably wondered how I got so lucky!
Do you have any personal projects that you have or are working on that we would find of interest?
Right now, I'm about to help a friend achieve a project he wants to do, but I don't have a specific project of my own to speak of currently. That said, I do lead monthly photo walks in Portland, with a personal goal of teaching someone something every time. I don't at all claim to know everything, but I find that teaching photographers something inevitably leads to learning something new myself and I'm all about learning.
What is your favorite piece of equipment, software or accessory that makes a difference in your photography? Why?
Right now, it's the limitations of the Fujifilm X100s and specifically it's affixed lens that I'm loving. Having fewer choices is a good thing for me right now. If I had to live the rest of my photographic life at one focal length, I think my skills would be all the better for it. When I was first starting out, like many photographers, it was all about the gear, or at least what the next piece of gear I needed was. Today, it's about how to accomplish the same thing with less gear. I can't recommend limiting yourself enough, it really forces you to think and choose differently than you would with say, a zoom lens or a better camera.
What tip or suggestion has best helped your development as a photographer? Why?
Teach someone what you know about photography. Even if you don't know a lot yourself, the act of teaching will force you to grow as a photographer. Newbies ask questions that you yourself once didn't know the answer to, and if you can aid them they'll starting asking more complicated questions that challenge you.
Which episode of The Candid Frame photography podcast would you recommend to others? Why?
I don't recall the episode number, but a while back Rinzi Ruiz was a fantastic episode for me. I wasn't familiar with his work prior to appearing on TCF, but I was drawn to his goals and visions to how he learned and grew quickly! He inspired me to not only get out there and start shooting on the street, but also that anything's possible. I remember being able to relate to Rinzi's experiences, struggles, and thought process around how to grow as a photographer. Clearly, I need to go find that episode and listen to it again now! I highly recommend other listeners go find that episode and enjoy it if you haven't heard it before.