Today we’d like to introduce you to Haley Ringo.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Haley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
So imagine me, at 14, standing in the middle of the Newseum in Washington D.C. staring at all of the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs on the walls and getting WAY too emotional in public. For me, this place was a discovery of new ideas, new cultures, and new perspectives. I was drawn to the possibilities and stories that these photos brought to life before my eyes. It amazed me to see how a photograph could tell a story without using a single word while simultaneously depicting both truth and reality. It was at that point I realized I wanted to be a photographer that I wanted to tell stories through art, be the one behind the camera, documenting a moment that could have a profound effect on others just as my experience had on me. So, naturally I got my first camera (Canon Rebel xsi) in a back alley shop (you know, the kind on Canal Street where they pull products from the ceiling) and began what is now my career. For the first two years, I spent a lot of time reading user manuals, and I mean a LOT of time. Trial and error became my best friend, and with a lot of help along the way, I booked my first wedding at 18. Through word of mouth, I started booking more and more weddings until all of the sudden I was shooting a wedding almost every weekend. Thus, my actual business was formed during my junior year of college when I was 21. Since then, I’ve moved to LA and expanded my photography business to not only weddings, but also lifestyle, portrait, and humanitarian photography- partnering with non-profits all over the world. This past year has been a tremendous year of growth for me. Although I’m extremely passionate about photography and plan to “keep my day job”, I’m also extremely passionate about entertaining. My second dream job (behind doing what I already do) is having my own late-night show, and so this past year I created a podcast called LAnded that interviews individuals who have LAnded in LA, how they obtained success, and how they plan to maintain success. The podcast itself was just a segway to practice my interview skills so that I would be comfortable enough to do live interviews on camera for my LAnded Late-Night Show. I’ve always loved learning about people and sharing their stories, and so now instead of just doing it through my photography, I’ll be able to do it through video as well! It’s been a crazy process getting the show organized and brought to life. We’re shooting the first episode September 12th and the show itself will be on my YouTube channel! I’m a huge believer that you can have and achieve whatever you want, you just have to truly believe you can have it…and work your ass off.
Has it been a smooth road?
Oh LAWD no!! Starting a photography business in college (hook em’ horns) was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I had zero ideas of what I was doing, nor had I ever taken any business classes, and overall was just way in over my head trying to balance a full course load while trying to start AND maintain a business. I like to commonly refer to this period of my life as my “mental breakdown stage”. And trust me, it was not pretty…my mom’s the real saint in this scenario for managing the daily phone calls I made to her crying my eyes out. Can you tell I have a flair for drama? 😉 The upside of going through tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety were that that season prepared me and taught me that I can handle just about anything, and because of this, I’m much more capable of navigating stress, and now much more self-aware. Can I get an AMEN?! Amen.
Another huge obstacle in the past has been fear. And these days, especially in this culture, fear runs rampant. At times, I’ve lived in fear and almost sadness thinking about the choices I’ll continue to have to make with age, and how with every choice in one direction a door in the other closes. Maybe not permanently, but there are consequences, good and bad for the decisions we make in life. And maybe it’s just my personality, how I was raised…I’m not sure, but that actually terrifies me. What if I make the wrong decision? What if I get to the end of my life and realize I could’ve “chosen” better? The problem, I’ve realized, with this type of mindset, is that fear can…and often times does, immobilize you. It has for me. In fear, I am no longer present. Present to see all the beauty around me…in other humans, in nature, and in the unknown itself. The worst thing I can do is nothing. Watching as opportunities wither away because I chose to live in fear. Perspective is everything. What you believe about yourself, others, and God is everything. Your own words and thoughts have the immense power to either give life or destroy… and no one, I mean NO ONE, talks to you more than you do. So speak words of life to yourself. Daily. Words of fearlessness and hope. Because you’re a BAFM and you got this. At least that’s what I like to tell myself…
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Haley Rynn Ringo Photography story. Tell us more about the business.
My goal as a photographer is to capture raw emotion, to document what rings true to me, but more importantly what I believe will ring true to you. I want to tell stories through my work, and what I’ve realized in the past few years is that it’s not necessarily the art of photography itself I love, but rather the people that I have the privilege of encountering and building a relationship with because of my photography. I genuinely love people. And I believe what sets me apart from other photographers is how I am able to connect with anyone and everyone. Relationships are everything to me. I’m also a hell of a good time.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I can tell you what I’d love to see happen…I’d love to see Canon create cameras similar to Sony in size for the sake of my back…and for the sake of every other photographer’s back. I’d love to see every wedding venue hire a photographer on as a consultant for lighting purposes…all of these rooms with no windows and tungsten light everywhere…Lawd have mercy. As Britney Spears would say, “gimme gimme more” of that natural light! And lastly, the coolest shift I actually see happening within the wedding realm is more and more people are for-going typical “American wedding tradition” and doing whatever the hell they want! Which is honestly the coolest thing to me because it makes the day so much more special when it’s unique to the couple. Just be yourself. Let your hair down.
Reasons to have a destination wedding: 1. You get to travel to the most beautiful places in the world 2. You’re amongst your closest family and friends (people you actually want at your wedding) for a solid 3 days, sometimes even a week, living it up and relaxing drinking bottomless Bellini’s and Aperol Spritz. 3. A lot of times, everything is SO much cheaper, leaving room to do extra things like taking a catamaran with everybody to Capri for the day. 4. They are (from experience) way more chill. Everyone is in the best mood of their life…and if they’re not you can just push them into the ocean, or off a cliff. 5. You get to spend significantly more time with the person you’re about to marry on the actual day of the wedding because everyone becomes so close they all know each other’s personal drinking limits and/or dietary restrictions, versus spending the entire wedding running from table to table trying to greet everyone. 6. You’re welcome.
- Website: http://haleyrynnringo.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Haley Rynn Ringo Photography