Get The Profitable Portfolio + Mastermind (and more)!

Get my blueprint for starting or scaling a profitable wedding photography business so you can finally book more dream clients and raise your rates! – Enroll today to join the Mastermind, get my Client Experience Mini-Course and more!

This offer goes away in:

tell me more!

From Fireman to Passionate Photographer: How Ryan Ray Built a Beautiful Reputation

by D'Arcy Benincosa

From Fireman to Passionate Photographer: How Ryan Ray Built a Beautiful Reputation on The Play It Brave Podcast with D'Arcy Benincosa

If marketing and sales feel slimy to you, then today’s episode will give you a fresh perspective. Ryan Ray is a former fireman turned world-renowned photographer with a passion for serving his people. He doesn’t rely on formulas or set strategies to grow his business. Instead, he relies on connection, relationships, and building a beautiful reputation. Tune in to hear his story on how he took his passion to serve to become a sought after destination photographer, and how you can too.

About Ryan Ray:

Ryan is a photographer based in the south and travels worldwide for the work he does. He lives in Texas with his wife Cary and boys, River and Rocky. The most important things to know about him are: He loves people deeply, approaches his work with professionalism and enthusiasm, and gives God glory for enabling him, through photography, the opportunity to show others just how beautiful and unique they are.

How to Expand Beyond Your Local Market:

  • Imagine each location you shoot in as a seed. If you drop enough seeds, your network will grow in all of these different locations. If you just stick to one area, you’re limiting your network to that area (which works too, if that’s what you want).
  • Start traveling and shooting in the locations you want to grow your market.

How to Find the Confidence to Raise Your Prices:

  • First, make sure you’ve spent the time honing your craft before raising your prices.
  • As you improve, put in the work, up-level your client experience, fill your calendar & have to turn down clients often, and add accolades to your resumé, these are signs it’s time to raise your prices.
  • Think of your time you’re putting in away from your family and friends. What is that worth to you? Knowing this will put you in the mindset that your time is valuable, and you should charge accordingly.

Let Your Clients Be the Source of Your Creativity and Inspiration:

  • If you always have the mindset that your clients must respect you as the artist, you miss out on the opportunity to see them as unique human beings.
  • Learning about his clients, being inspired by their stories and creating art around that is Ryan’s signature style that is nothing less than mesmerizing.

Getting Out of Your Muscle Memory to Create Masterpieces:

  • We can all get too comfortable in our jobs and rely on our “formulas” too often.
  • Get out of your comfort zone and focus on pushing the envelope.
  • Pretend this is the first time you’ve ever done it.
  • Let changes in plans work in your favor. These are always the best images captured and the best stories told.

Find your strength and SELL THAT!

  • You don’t have to compete when you have a strength and sell the heck out of it.
  • Ryan’s strength is his desire and ability to get to know and serve his clients and fellow vendors as well as possible. 
  • This has allowed him to focus less on marketing, and more on being a people-person that get’s referral after referral.
  • If you’re a “fly on the wall” photographer, make sure you let your potential clients know that a “fly on the wall” photographer is the best kind of photographer for them.

How to Build a Beautiful Reputation:

  • Don’t reach out to planners or other vendors who are far beyond your skillset or experience level.
  • Instead, find other vendors in your lane, or similar stage of growth as you, and find ways to serve and create relationships with them.
  • Serve all your clients and colleagues in the best way you can, and never be “too good” for things.

Words of Wisdom:

See people for who they are, and find ways to care for them. This will take you so much further than strategies and tactics.

Ryan’s Favorite Gear:

GFX 100S with Contax Lens

Canon R5 with 35mm Lens

Reception: Canon R5 with 24mm lens with on-camera flash

The Archetype Process Presets

CLICK HERE FOR MORE WAYS TO LISTEN

Follow Ryan on Instagram

Check out Ryan’s Website

Keep Reading…

IPS: In Person Service NOT Sales

From Craigslist to Martha Stewart’s Best Of List: The Power of Getting Published

The Secret To A Portfolio That Books Luxury Clients

free training

Not booking $10k+ weddings?

Play

It Brave

podcast

tune in now

A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

goodlight Presets

Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match. Use code PLAYITBRAVE to get $50 off!

pic-time

Say au revoir to lazy galleries! Use code DARCY to get your first month free.

tonic site shop

Crappy website? Say no more. Get 20% off a template with code PLAYITBRAVE. You're welcome.

Learn my simple tweaks you can make that will have you attracting your dream clients with the portfolio you have TODAY.

free guide

Have no time to submit
to publications?

Don’t let your images gather dust on a hard drive – GET THEM SEEN (and gain street cred too).

free training

Not booking $10k+ weddings?

binge-listen

Play

It Brave

podcast

A few of my favorite business tools:

CREATIVE LAW SHOP

Contracts, Privacy Policies, and more. Use code DARCYB10 for 10% off!

goodlight presets

Struggle to match your digital to your film? You've met your match. Use code PLAYITBRAVE to get $50 off!

pic-time

Say au revoir to lazy galleries! Use code DARCY to get your first month free.

tonic site shop

Crappy website? Say no more. Get 20% off a template with code PLAYITBRAVE. You're welcome.

Have no time to submit to publications?

Don’t let your images gather dust on a hard drive – GET THEM SEEN (and gain street cred too).

free guide

Learn my simple tweaks you can make that will have you attracting your dream clients with the portfolio you have TODAY.

comments +

Reply...

@darcybenincosa

follow along on Instagram