Photographer Profile: Ryan Souva

by Emily Albertson

To celebrate the new year, we want to celebrate you: our customers who support us every year and are making amazing work in our community. Every month we will profile a different photographer/videographer in Portland to learn about their process, their gear and what they are looking forward to in the new year. 

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Our first profile features Ryan Souva, a Portland-based photographer, BMX rider and cosmetology student originally from New York. Since moving to the west coast in 2015, Ryan has jumped headfirst into the Portland photo community, exploring the city, the coast and the mountains with digital photography, film and drones. I met Ryan last year at one of our photo walks, and it’s been great to see his work and aesthetic evolve ever since. 

He’s also the creator of “Coffee and Cameras PDX” a bi-weekly meet up for photographers to network, drink coffee, and photograph as a group around Portland. I joined Ryan and the other Coffee and Cameras PDX photographers on a rainy Sunday morning at the most recent meet up. There were about 15-20 photographers, all enjoying a chance to meet like-minded people and practice their craft in a relaxed environment.

Read our interview with Ryan and learn more about Coffee and Cameras PDX below. 

When did you first become interested in photography?

My initial interest started around 2005 or so when I became friends with some out of town BMX kids that were into it. They would come ride and then towards the end of our sessions would pull out all of these crazy lights and stands and then shoot photos of everyone riding. Seeing the setup into the end result sparked it for me.

 

What is your favorite subject matter to photograph?

I honestly can’t say I have one favorite subject matter. Like I said before, BMX was initially what got me into the medium. I’ll always love shooting action sports and the process that goes into making that happen, but in all honestly I just love shooting regardless of the subject matter. 

 

Where is your favorite location to shoot in Portland or surrounding area? 

As far as favorite locations go, I’d have to say Oceanside, throughout Mt. Hood National forest, the various concrete skateparks throughout the area, and just wandering downtown.

What’s in your gear bag? 
My bag consists of a couple Fuji X bodies (X-Pro2 and X-T20), a handful of prime lenses and a couple CPL filters, my Leica M2 with a Canon LTM 50 1.4, a few rolls of Kodak portra 400 and Ilford Hp5, 2 Godox speedlites, my DJI Mavic pro with a set of polar pro filters, my mefoto tripod, a couple Joby gorilla pods, a couple light stands with modifiers, extra batteries, and other random accessories. 
 
Depending on what I’m shooting obviously depends on what I’m carrying. But I always have one of the camera bodies with a XF-35mm f/2 or a XF-23mm f/2 and a spare battery one me.
 
 
What are you wanting to work on in the new year? 
I would like to dive into the world of cinematography, collaborate with more models, make more automotive images, and focus on making Coffee and Cameras as awesome as I can with the help of my friends Geo Genkins and Kyle Hoverkamp. 
 
 
Tell us about “Coffee and Cameras PDX” and why you came up with the concept. 
So I have been attending the local Cars and Coffee meets for the past two or so years and about a year ago I thought, why not do something similar but with cameras? The idea came to me last winter during the crappy weather when i didn’t want to leave my apartment. I thought it would be cool to host something that would help motivate people to get up and out on Sunday mornings, regardless of the weather, but it was nothing more than an idea. So fast forward another year and the idea came up in conversation with my friend Geo and he loved the idea and motivated me to put the idea into action.
 
So basically what it entails is meeting up at a local coffee shop every other Sunday at 9am. The first hour we just hangout, get to know each other, drink coffee, tea, chai, or whatever you enjoy consuming, and then around 10-10:30 we go out and shoot. The plan, which is still in the works, is to have each Sunday focus on a different aspect of photography/videography. Through Coffee and Cameras I thought it would be cool to challenge everyone to get out of that comfort zone and expand their horizons in a low stress, fun environment. 

Check out more of Ryan’s work on Instagram with @ryansouva.

Learn more about Coffee and Cameras PDX on their Instagram page @coffeeandcameraspdx. Their next meet up will be January 21st at 9am. 

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