Who I Am / What I Do

Greetings:

My name is Ryan Siller, or "Uryaen", and I am a photographer and filmmaker. ryansept
 
For film making, I specialize in writing, directing and editing. You will see examples of my work under FILMS, I am currently in pre-production on a set of short films and planning stage for two feature trilogies and two major TV series. I am not announcing details about the series yet, but if you are interested in participating, send me an email. 
 
For Photography I specialize in MODEL, PRODUCT, and ARCHITECTURAL photography, in this case meaning location and studio shooting with models and products.
 
I have a fully state of the art digital workflow, from communication through contract, proofing and delivery.  I am member ASMP, PPA, Insured, and Reliable.
 

Contact

To get started, fill out the following form. If you're ready to give us more detail, you can go straight to the Product and Fashion form and I'll automatically have most of the details I'll need to give you a quote. 

For a comprehensive overview of my workflow process, see here
 
If you have questions, you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as well, but all jobs are generated through the above forms.

 

 

What Clients and Models are saying:

Client Reviews

“Ryan shot my music studio facility that had just opened up and I had placed a great deal of personal time and labor into the studios.  Ryan was able to bring a level of quality to the images that showcased the care that went into the facility...and the customers noticed!  He is a professional and it made all the difference in my sales at a critical time of business development.” - Sean Mackie, Austin Waveform

"Ryan completed the project on time, and under budget.

We didn’t realize how big our project was until Ryan sat down with us and showed us everything that went into a project like ours. Ryan was able to take our project from concept to completion in a short time with amazing results!

After seeing some of Ryan’s previous work we decided to go with him, a decision that has helped our company portray a much needed professional web presence!

Ryan worked with us on much more than we expected a “web designer” to! They helped us plan photo shoots and video integration, did a phenomenal job on making our graphics “fit” and the invoice project was properly quoted and all inclusive from the beginning, we knew what we were getting and what we were paying for. They are clearly accustomed to working with customers with high standards and tight schedules! Thank you!" - Jeremy Stillman, AR15Targets, INC

Model Reviews

“Ryan is absolutely wonderful to work with! He is very professional, and knows how to execute his vision with precision and creativity. Had a great time shooting with him!” - Kristy Lennox

“Uryaen was an absolute joy to work with. He has a very professional outlook but still manages to engage and entertain his models. There was never a dull moment and I’d highly recommend him for any type of project.” - Nicolette

Why Uryaen? Why use my Process?

Think of it this way: You're not just getting "better images" you're getting a better, and more secure, process.

For example, I am one of the only providers you will ever meet that has a "best practices" color profiling workflow, meaning that your images will ALWAYS have 100% correct color. You'll see an example of that below, but this means that I use a color chart to profile every image. This is not simply "color correcting" but snapping all colors in the image to 100% correct, no matter what the lighting in the scene is doing. 

So let's take a look at some of the benefits to using my process!

Better Images 

Here is a sample of one of my most popular modeling images. You will find the higher resolution version on the main portfolio.

fashion001

Note the realistic field of view, even, soft coloring, and dreamy finishing. 

Now look at a comparison to the basic shot without the "special sauce": 

comparison

What a difference a few lights, some modifiers, and some know how makes. This is the difference that "Level of Production Value" makes. 

Such a process also produces images this dramatic:

architectural002

Level of Production

What is "Level of Production"?. You see, there is a huge difference between snapping a photo and creating an image. Anyone can sit a product in front of some lights and take one picture. It takes experience to know when you need a few dozen exposures and how to finish them.

Anyone can take a picture of a pretty girl. It takes a world class model photographer to create light where there is none, and turn a rainy morning into a sunny one. 

SECURITY

Security in a provider that is insured and bonded, and a member of PPA ( Professional Photographers of America ) and ASMP ( American Society of Media Photographers ) both of which have standards bodies.

Security in a proven provider who takes EVERY step of the process 100% of the way, and shortcuts NOTHING ( See reviews on the about page of this site ). When I needed to create a Kickstarter campaign for a Trading Card Game I designed, I did a WORLD CLASS job at every single last pixel and word. Just take a look at the Kickstarter page here where you will see quotes and participation from some of the most famous names in games and art. 

You will also see the TWO full length, 4K productions I created ( the link to the trailer on the KS page is broken, but both are on my channel here ) , each of which was months of planning and execution. Such a provider isn't going to shortcut YOU either. 

The above also serves as proof of my ability to single handedly oversee and execute full scale commercial projects. 

Security in reliability. Many providers don't show up, or show up late, or smoke in the job site, or bring friends, or track mud ( I always wear medical shoe covers in private houses and do not set my tripod in dirt )

Security in knowing that the job will be completed as stated, on time every time for a fair but reasonable price point. 

The Process

My process is also 100% secure, private, and upholds a core set of standards that you'll rarely see in conventional providers. We'll cover that as we go along. 

I promise that the time you spend filling out this form will be worth it in saved time later.

Let's get started

The Uryaen Process

A word on The Process

The following is a detailed account of the various "photography sins" you will encounter with less reputable providers. I provide this information as an education on what kinds of things to look for when hiring a photographer. 

Once you have read through it you will have an appreciation for the thought and experience that goes into my productions. 

First, if you're used to amateur photographers with hourly or “day rates" this process might be a little daunting to you. If you ARE used to working with professionals, I apologize for the occasional clarifications along the way.

The good news is that you'll only need to do this process with me ONCE. 

On Pricing Structure

My pricing structure is based on industry standard commercial pricing. This means that my fee is called a "combined creative and usage fee" and everything else is billed at standard third party costs, and there is zero markup on all third party expenses. The actual final project is likely to be predictable to within a couple hundred dollars, but until I know a LOT about your project, we can't know for sure how much of what resources will be required. 

I promise you that if you get a photographer that just spits out a day or hour rate, they are putting NO thought into your project/needs, and are still operating like an amateur.

Depending on how you found me, or how we first contacted, you might not have had time to review my portfolio or skills, and your experience with photographers might be limited to "Craigslist Photographers" who may or may not be quality providers.

If you want some insight into my pricing practices, request my "Schedule of fees for Commercial Photography" PDF. It contains minute details about how your project is broken down and priced. 

Next we need to look at the difference my process makes and why you should care. 

In my extensive research into local ads, I have seen every amateur sin a photographer can commit. Why is this a problem? You get what you pay for. I have an extensive listing what I consider 

11 CORE STANDARDS ( or "fails" ) of Photography

You will see almost ALL of them failed in most providers locally.

In short, they are:

1 - Use of "kit" Lenses - The first is the use of a “kit" lens. This is NOT ok. I use any of several 77mm-82mm size lenses, from primes in 14,24,35,85 to even the Canon 70-200mm IS USM II L F2.8 and 100mm Macro L. Specialized lenses can be rented for any job.

If a photographer uses a kit lens, stay away. They ABSOLUTELY don't know what they're doing and are likely using a cheap “consumer DLSR" camera which probably will not serve your needs. I am currently running with a Canon 5D MK III with custom firmware. 

Why You Should Care - Using a kit lens greatly lowers the overall image quality of your final image, and in all but very specific cases, "kit lenses" only work on crop sensor cameras, which do not have pro quality sensors. They are also not usually in the focal length that is appropriate for your product or model. 

A kit lens on a crop body will not look like a professional image, regardless of what the photography blogs try to make you believe. 

2 - Blown Highlights - After kit lenses, this is the other MAJOR sin, and it's the most common by far. You see it in nearly EVERY shot in EVERY ad online from cheap providers. But what is it and why is it bad?

Highlights are the area of a photo represented by the brightest and whitest pixels, usually light sources. It's actually NOT ok for these to be all one color or as we say “blown out" meaning that there is no detail in that area. This is something that's easy to deal with, but inexperienced or lazy photographers don't.

You usually see this in shiny objects, or white plastic. Sometimes a product will simply "white out" to the background, and this just looks terrible, and limits your retouching options. The CORRECT way to do this isn't really that hard, it just takes time.

Why You Should Care - Losing detail limits your options with an image, and it just SCREAMS "amateur". There are many fauxtographers who will tell you "it's my art" for it to look that way, but there is never a legitimate reason to do this on purpose in camera. Professional photography is about OPTIONS, and this severely limits your options. 

3 - Failing to take enough exposures - One shot is never enough, because highlights and specular will come out varied over different exposures. Not only do you need to do different exposures, but you usually need to move the lights to get even lighting all around.

There is also cases of shot types such as models, where you will see a VAST difference in the emotion from one shot to the next ( there are some other "secret sauce" reasons for taking extra exposures with models as well ), or architecture shots where the light is just SLIGHTLY different but makes a world of difference in the final shot. We call it “coverage" and it's important. 

The inverse, and equally appalling sin is just firing off THOUSANDS of images, the way inexperienced wedding photographers often do, but it's critical to get “enough".

Why You Should Care - This depends, but is another example of losing OPTIONS. Not having enough "coverage" severely limits your options, and may result in the need for a reshoot, which will cost you more in the end. I don't take THOUSANDS of images, but I take enough to get the shot. 

4 - Incorrect Composition - A slightly less terrible sin than the first three but the first thing I notice afterward. Most what we call “fauxtographers" will put almost no thought into composition. Shooting a product is very much like shooting a model, there are correct and incorrect angles and focal lengths. A provider shooting a product or model with a wide angle lens should not be shooting products or models at all.

Why You Should Care - Once again, options. Cropping can save you to a DEGREE, but you lose resolution in the final image rapidly the more you crop. Plus the relationship of foreground and background elements vary with different compositions, and simply cropping won't affect that. 

5 - Lack of Staging - What looks good in real life isn't what works from the perspective of the camera.

This can include issues such as proper background color, specular spill, which is when you see reflections of the color of the background or other objects around you on the thing you're photographing, which is why you need a LOT of room to photograph things like objects or models in a studio, proper angles, distance, dust issues, forgetting to show a feature of something, etc.

You see this kind of issue most often with “hourly rate" photographers, because the client wants it done within a certain amount of time, so instead of doing it right, they do it quickly.

Why You Should Care - A really good example of this is food photography. Which looks better, an image of a bottle sitting there looking dry and room temperature, or a bottle ( assuming it's supposed to be served this way ) that looks ice cold, and has water and ice dripping down it? In almost all cases, the manufacturer of that bottle will want the illusion of wet and cold, and I know how to provide that ( hint: neither the water nor the ice is "natural" ).

Wine bottles look better next to a poured glass, or some grapes. A computer mouse looks best on a sleek pad, on a glass table, with the keyboard in view in the corner. 

The bottom line is that sometimes proper staging can take a GOOD image and make it GREAT. 

6 - Lack of Color Profiling - This is not “color correcting". although it is related. Color profiling allows ALL of the colors of an image to be adjusted to be correct, not just white balance. This means showing the camera a color chart at EVERY shoot, and using that to snap all colors into 100% consistent.

I do this with every shoot I do, and that's why my colors are so amazing. Look at the vibrant, realistic color of my portfolio vs. the average flat, monotonous, cold color of most images locally.

Here is a shot showcasing the device that I use to profile colors.

FashionPortfolio03

Why You Should Care - This is one of those black and white "if your photographer isn't color profiling, fire them" things. You CANNOT deliver images with controlled, correct colors unless you profile on the spot.

It is completely unforgivable for a photographer to NOT be color profiling, and if they're not, run away. Seriously. Of all things on this list, THIS is the one you should use as the test of whether to run from this provider. 

For some shoots, the client can sit at my computer and watch the images come in and be color profiled automatically! THAT'S a proper color workflow. 

7 - Not Using Off Camera Light - This is true of ALL forms of photography. If your photographer doesn't know how to use off camera speed lights, strobes, and modifiers, they shouldn't be charging clients. This is related to the "Blown Highlight" issue.

You will see a lot of fauxtographers who advertise that they are “natural light photographers". There is no such thing. They're just lazy or too inexperienced to sculpt and bend light to their will. Don't get me wrong, there are some beautiful and amazing images out there that did not use off camera light, but those images were not taken by “natural light photographers".

I have a large number of both speed lights with various modifiers and studio strobes with modifiers. Any type of lighting set up required, I can do. 

Why You Should Care - Because "long exposure" is for amateurs. Because sculpting light properly is a requirement of 100% of all commercial photographs. 

8 - Not Shooting Tethered - If you're not familar with the concept, tethered shooting refers to having the camera physically linked to a device such as a computer, tablet, or even phone, and sending either full RAW or JPG images to the device immediately upon capture. 

This allows a second party, such as an assistant, MUA, or the client to monitor the shoot without the photographer having to stop and show the images. With modern wireless tethering, there is literally NEVER an excuse to NOT be tethered, and is a pretty sure sign of an inexperiened provider. 

Even on a model test shoot, I use a wireless tether to a tablet, and my assistant captures the images as they come in, alerting me to issues, flagging keepers, showing the model, etc. 

Why You Should Care - Tethering allows you to monitor the shoot in real time. Need I go on? 

9 - Not Post Processing Images Correctly - This encompasses several sub categories of things that should drive you crazy if you're paying someone to photograph something.

Some common mistakes include:

  • Forgetting to color profile
  • Not using color grading tools
  • Not cropping or aligning the image – Not EVERY single pixel of an image is required, and usually we crop to bring attention to what we want the viewer to focus on. Also, not aligning the image to be straight is just straight up amateur.
  • Not understanding how the histogram works – which is why you see images with varied levels of exposure in the same set. They are obviously using automatic modes on the camera, and if you're actually charging clients and still using automatic modes . . . let's just say that's bad, very very bad.
  • Not editing images for things like objects or people in the frame.
  • Any of dozens of other little issues you will learn to spot as you view ads.

Why You Should Care - Because even if an image was captured perfectly, it still has to be processed properly, and one of two things happens with a pro: They either finish the image themselves, or hire a third party to finish it because that party has techniques or styles we want. Amateurs will tell you they can do ANYTHING, and will deliver sub par results either way.

10 - Charging by the hour - Professional photographers do not structure their finances around "labor". Regardless of how many hours it takes to accomplish something, it is both antagonistic and counter productive to bill "by the hour". Many inexperienced clients ask for this, but you shouldn't. 

The actual list of reasons why is so long, it's beyond the scope of this page, but I'll give you the most important one: Perception. 

If a photographer quotes too much per hour, they are afraid that you will panic upon seeing the actual bill, and thus they're hoping to just rack up as much as possible. 

If they quote too little, they will have to purposely drag their feet, and draw out the project as long as possible, and that's not good for either party. 

Clients who see a large "per hour" charge will be inclined to rush the photographer, and that never results in quality work. 

A professional KNOWS how long it takes to accomplish a project, and will figure out the costs accordingly. Further, professional level photography results are all in the "planning, experience, and execution", and not valued by how many literal minutes it takes. It's actually valued based on usage, but we'll cover all that in the Client Intake Form

A couple of notes to get out of the way: Yes, a commercial photographer is likely to cost more per hour than your attorney, but you can't think of it that way. Attorneys and Photographers have completely different work flows and goals, and thus, the pricing structure does not lend itself to "per hour" structure. 

Therefore, once you get the final quote, it might feel a bit sticker shock-y, but you will KNOW what you're to expect for it, whereas an hourly agreement can really only end in one of two ways: The provider feels shorted for doing a good job quickly, or the client feels cheated because the provider took a certain amount of time, and the client doesn't agree that it should have taken that long. 

This is the exact and primary reason why photographers have such a hard time with "trust". You won't have that issue with me. 

Why You Should Care - Even if you set out to find quotes on a per hour basis, you should IMMEDIATELY STOP doing that, and also immediately reject all photographers who respond to quote requests with "day" or "hour" rates, as they are putting no thought or experience into your project, and do you really want your brand or company represented so cynically? 

It also encourages providers to invent prices per client, if they think they can get away with it. 

My pricing structure is complex, but easy to navigate, and the same for all clients. The variables are how involved the project is, and what the usage rights are. It's all quite straightforward. 

11 - Operating like an Amateur - I want to say “operating like a punk", because that's really what we're seeing. Someone who charges you money, and then does such a poor job that you see several or all of the above fails, shouldn't be allowed to operate for money at all. Sadly, most ad examples exude EVERY one of the above issues, in Real Estate images especially, which means that the photographer is lazy, inexperienced, and disingenuous.

Why You Should Care - By hiring me, not only are you getting someone who operates with precision and perfection, but is also experienced in several related forms of professional photography, and can arrange almost anything.

I won't sugar coat it: my work is not cheap. I do not advertise, nor do I work for "cheap". My work is "commercial level", but my pricing is very fair. I'm also open to trades or business credit. I'm ALWAYS buying gear, so anything we can work out that benefits me is usually ok.

If the above is acceptable, and you're ready to give me a try, fill out this form, and I'll be right with you, 24/7. Seriously, you need a shoot and it's 3am? I'm the guy.

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