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Meet Marlena Ryan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marlena Ryan.

Marlena, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As a child, I’d always bring a disposable camera to school so I could photograph all my friends and make memories. So photography has been in my life since the beginning really, however as I got older I didn’t really think about it too much. Until about 10th grade, I joined my high school yearbook club and my passion reignited. From there, I started to think about photography as a career and slowly but surely tried to work towards that. My first “real” camera I started shooting with was a Nikon Coolpix (I can’t remember the model) and I haaaated it; but it did get the job done so I suppose it was ok lol. Sometime shortly after that my uncle passed away and his film camera, a Pentax K1000 was given to me. That’s when I started learning about shooting film, how to create images, work with lighting and so forth. That was maybe around 2013 or 2014 and from there, I continued to work with my camera: finding out what style I like, how developing and printing works, etc. Since attending college as a photo major and furthering my knowledge about photography my shooting has grown a lot since then, While it was filled with much trial and error, I continue to press on in finding what works and what doesn’t; taking from my past and applying it today!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It most definitely has not been a smooth road, especially with shooting film haha! In the past, I’ve had issues with my photo negatives, technical issues and just figuring out what works best for me honestly! My biggest struggle however was how I would treat myself when things did go wrong. As an artist, you are always your harshest critic and you notice the flaws in all of your work and beat yourself up about it until you get it right. During this journey, I’ve learned to accept that mistakes are always going to happen; it’s a part of the human experience.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
As for the future, I’d love shoot for a few magazines, especially the few that I subscribe to regarding music and fashion! That’d be amazing, working with musicians I grew up listening to, entertainers that have shaped who I am today and why I’m interested in the things that I am. That would be nuts! As for changes – I’m looking forward to changing as a person, as an artist, changing direction and trying new things regarding my art. Im fully embracing change in all ways.


  • 70 dollars per roll of film developed

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