We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan Michelle Scavo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan Michelle, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I grew up in a family that really valued capturing moments. While living overseas as a kid, communication was different (it was the 80s after all!). So, our parents would send videos and photographs back and forth with family in the states to share everything from daily life to bigger vacations and outings. With that, I have had a camera in my hand since I was a kid. I’d shoot rolls and rolls of film in grade school and my teenage years and in high school I worked at a portrait studio. I shot my first wedding when I was 19 and was hooked on capturing experiences since then. Finally, when we moved to Colorado in 2014, I decided to make it official by starting a business as a freelance photographer.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets me apart from others is my desire to both capture the story through images and dive deeper through words. I combine both imagery and written word to share the whole picture and (hopefully) inspire others to dig deeper to find out more about whatever I’m shooting/writing about. It’s easy to pick up a camera, but it’s definitely not easy to get your work noticed. But, just like anything you WANT in this life, you have to put the work in and get the pay out – and I’m not talking money, I’m talking creating the images you see in your mind or reach the outcome you set to reach. Overcoming challenges? I feel like I’m still doing that! I think being honest with myself (i.e., I’m not a landscape photographer, so I stopped working toward that!) was the biggest challenge. Shoot what you love, capture what inspires you. For me, that’s emotion. The stoke of skiing, the happiness of marriage, the challenge of hard labor… I’m also a woman that wears many hats. I’m a photographer, a writer, an outdoors lover, adventure-seeker and a mom. Particularly, as a mom, there is a lot of balancing that comes with seeking creativity, getting the gig and being there for my kids. I overcome challenges on the daily when it comes to work/life balance. Lessons learned…it might be cliche, but honestly: Don’t Stop. Don’t stop pushing, striving, working for what you want. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times “If you don’t ask the question, you’ll never know the answer”. I’ve learned that if I don’t push myself to ask the hard questions (can I photograph your wedding, can I contribute to your magazine, can I capture your brand…”), I’d never have the opportunities I have had so far in this journey. What I want others to know about RyOutside and me as a photographer – I want to capture and share a story so it can be documented as a chapter in the journey of who you are (as a brand, a couple, a skier, etc.).
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In Denver? Phew…ok, I’m not based in the city BUT I do know that I love Fire on the Mountain. Best wings, best music, best vibe and great beer on tap.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I think I have a few people to thank for where I am today. First and foremost my parents. Without my dad encouraging me to save up and purchase my first “real” (DSLR) camera, I would still be shooting on disposables. And without my mom really celebrating my photography of her animals (dogs, in particular), I’m not sure I would have gotten into portraits in the first place. My husband is also to blame – or, thank, I Suppose ; ). He told me if it was something I was passionate about, make it official. That was the day I registered “RyOutside” and built my business. And finally, my first “real” editor, Dough Schnitzspahn. He and Elevation Outdoors gave me a chance and from there, my freelance opportunities really grew.
Ryan Michelle Scavo/RyOutside