Ryan Scott

All photos and words by Ryan Scott.

I was always a visual person, but never really considered myself an “artist”. I still don’t. I’m so drawn to photography because it’s the perfect mix of technical know-how and visual impact for me. My brain’s geared for problem solving, and I like


A couple of years ago there was a carnival a few blocks away from me and I took my camera there to shoot some tripod photos of the lights & motion of the rides. Because I had a fancy looking camera, everyone working there just assumed I worked for the local newspaper so I just ran with it. The workers were starting and stopping rides for me and posing for portraits hoping their photo would make it into the local paper. This is to date one of my favorite portraits I’ve shot. I’m not great at asking complete strangers if I can take their photo, so having them willingly line up for it was a pleasure.


In December ’08 I compound fractured my leg riding my bike in Hackettstown, NJ. I spent 10 days in the hospital there after having emergency surgery where 6 screws and a plate were put in just above my ankle. I was bummed but was trying to stay positive about the 8 weeks I’d be off my feet. The big scare with compound fractures is that the wound where the bone came out can easily become infected. Four weeks later, that’s exactly what happened. The doctor told me that there was a fair chance that I could lose my leg because of the severity of the infection. My wife and I had gotten married 2 months before and spent our honeymoon hiking mountains in Vermont. I couldn’t stop thinking about never being able to do that again and had been trying to mentally prepare for what my life would be like missing my leg. I spent the next two weeks staring at the ceiling at night going to the hospital almost daily for testing and treatment until the news came that the infection was under control. The doctor told me I had “dodged a bullet”. I’ve never felt so humbled and appreciative for what I had. Then, for the next 8 months the wound continued to leak fluid and not heal correctly, and I was really scared the entire time. I became a bit obsessive about cleaning and caring for the wound because I was so terrified of it getting infected again and would constantly wake up at night to check on it. This photo was taken almost a year after I broke my leg, when the doctors removed the plate and half of the screws in my leg because it turns out my body was rejecting them. Today, my ankle’s almost 100%, but breaking my leg was the turning point where I started putting down my BMX bike and picking up my camera most of the time. Sorry for the novel, but the photo doesn’t have as much meaning as just a picture of my ugly leg with no explanation.


My wife Lea is a marathon runner and triathlete. I just park near the finish lines. She gets as excited about new running sneakers as I do a new lens. Like me, she’s not a fan of standing on the business end of a camera, but she’ll happily run around in the snow at 6am for me to take this kind of portrait.


My pal Matt is one of my oldest friends and his great danes Beretta and Jazzy are awesome. This Xmas tree farm was in the back yard of his old house, and his dogs used to wreak havoc chasing each other through the trees.


Phil Care 360ing a stairset in Princeton, NJ.


Phil Care, Princeton, NJ. We were riding this empty parking lot on a Sunday when the business it belonged to was closed. A police officer came by and asked us to leave. Literally 100ft away there were 5 guys in a courtyard smoking blunts, openly selling drugs, drinking 40s and playing cee-lo.


Portraits are what I like shooting the most. I admire photographers that can shoot great landscapes but even then I always feel like it would be a better photo with some kind of human element in the photo somewhere.


This girl was so easy to shoot that I feel guilty for taking credit for the photo.


I lit this photo to make it look like exactly what it was – a kid(Justin Care) doing a barspin on a backyard ramp lit only by a set of headlights.


I was shooting some photos of a local screenprinter’s shop and when I met this gentleman I knew I wanted to shoot a portrait of him while I was there. He was worried that he wasn’t dressed right for a portrait and initially picked up the screen to cover up his [informal] jeans. I’m usually not a fan of being too literal in a portrait(like a musician always holding a guitar, for example) but I think it works well here.

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By      01.12.11

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