Western Digital – Ryan Struck Photographer Profile

Western Digital has helped support my work since the beginning of 2014. It’s important to store images, video and audio files across multiple hard drives so as to avoid loosing any original files. As my work grows so does my archive. WD’s drives at home and abroad  provide me with the safety of having redundant back ups as well as an easy to use storage solution. When I’m on the road their portable RAID drives enable me to back up files 3 times very easily. My workflow has improved tremendously.

Western Digital asked to tag along one day and film a profile on my work. I was in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz California throughout this past year and thought it would be best to have them come on up to Northern California. I was photographing an article about surfboard shaper Nick Palandrani during their visit. Please have a look at the video below for a bit more about what I do in the surf.

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Cafe Volan – Asbury Park NJ

Photographers can wear many hats. Content creators, writers, marketers, directors. We’re searching for that perfect angle or the best light. When neither exists we create it. Add more production, strobes, makeup or a ladder and our subjects can be transformed. There is an incredible amount of work that goes into each photo, or sentence, scene and portfolio. Then of course, there’s that inner force that seems to hold it’s hand flat against our back, and push. I think that’s called inspiration. In this case, it arrived in moving pictures. No make up and a beautiful sunrise. The setting: a coffee shop with simple, clean design.

Cafe Volan’s owners Paul and Doug have cultivated the perfect blend of beach and brew on Bangs Ave in Asbury Park. They’re a small business with a passion for coffee and penchant for art. Aside from entrepreneurs, Paul is a still photographer shooting exclusively 35 and 120mm film, while Doug channels his energy into woodworking. It only felt right to film and interview this duo in a way that would resonate with Cafe Volan’s following, as well as spark an interest in those who’ve yet to experience the shop. Please have a look at the short piece we created. Much thanks for the perfect music vibe Brian Parnagian!

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Hurricane Bertha – New Jersey

Hurricane Bertha trickled in earlier this week sending waves to the Jersey Shore. I awoke with the sun on two separate mornings to get into the water and photograph some surf. The morning light was pretty Tuesday, albeit a tad hazy, but the waves were fun for loggin. Wednesday, the surf didn’t fully cooperate until the sun was high in the sky. I didn’t have time for an evening session during golden hour so I took what I could get: a 2 hour swim midday.

waterlifestyle photographerfemale surferfemale surfsurf lifestylematuse wetsuit top  surfing surf photography     surfing

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Trout Fishing The Eastern Sierras – On The Fly

reading the waterThe great outdoors are a special place. Special was our overly used, cliché, yet incredibly appropriate word for so much of what we saw in the mountains. Being outdoors makes me happy and I do everything in my power to get out and stay out. The Eastern Sierras and the likes of the Upper Owens and Hot Creek rest at a comfortably dry altitude of 8,500 feet. The weather was hot and the arid climate sucked every bit of moisture from my skin it could find.

Jorge and I had been spontaneously planning (yes, I meant to say that) a fishing trip for the better part of a month. In May we almost pulled the trigger and darted North from Southern California, however, there was some remaining weather headed that way and we deemed snow and rain not the best intro to the Sierras. June rolled around and we blocked out a few days during the week to go camp and get some trout on the fly.

“Brah, chaaa we slayed the fish,” we joked often. Jorge is a photographer who grew up in Miami, surfed his whole life, lived in Hawaii, you name it. Now resides in Dana Point, just shy of 5 hours drive from the mountains. We both understood the humor in surfing, brah. Beach satire definitely helped pass the time in between fish on the end of my line. Jorge was indeed slaying it, both Rainbows and Browns. The learning curve in small trout streams and rivers was steep for me.

I’ve thrown the fly plenty in Jersey sweetwater, and tie my own saltwater flies (streamers, clousers and epoxy minnows). Something about a tiny nymph, a basic midge or the indicator tied above, that totally flipped my world of fishing around. I was used to tossing topwater to Largemouth in lakes and big wooden plugs to Stripers in the suds. This skinny water endeavor (at altitude no less) is a challenge accepted.
hot creek
Fly fishing Eastern Sierras in California along the Upper Owens RiverDry Flyfly fishing photographercastingmidgefishing californiariver landscape

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Photographing Il Mulino Prime – SoHo

There’s no place like it, New York City. Busy streets, an upfront attitude. Here people say what they mean, take it or leave it. I step foot into the Big Apple and my stomach is doing jumping jacks, in a good way! The kid inside me wants to scream, “Woah!” as I stare up in amazement. I gaze at this marvelous place in awe and greet each new corner with eyes wide. The graffiti, street fashion. Food and Impossible Project; it’s all here! Love at first sight. This is the pedestrian’s realm. Yellow taxis whiz by as I hump it on foot, my preferred method of travel.  A healthy dosing of the subway splashes your travels with humor and new perspectives.

Il Mulino asked me to photograph their newest menu at Il Mulino Prime, 331 West Broadway in SoHo. Shooting food is interesting and I’m honored to work with the restaurant. I admire the entire staff’s professionalism and Chef Mazza is a master of culinary arts. During college I was a barista at a coffee shop, a waiter in a Tapas restaurant, as well as a server at an upscale Italian eatery. I’ve come to be familiar with the food and service industry and have the utmost respect for those in the business. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and have a knack for observation; I’ve picked up what I could in each kitchen. Now I’m trusted to photograph beautiful, delicious food for an establishment who gets it. “Woah!”

To explain a bit of the technical process I photographed the entire lunch and dinner menu with the Canon 5d MK2 and 2 strobes with the help of my lighting assistant Charlie. The exteriors were photographed with a Tilt Shift Lens to allow for proper perspective which is incredibly important when shooting architecture. I’m very happy with the take (and even the out-takes), please feast your eyes below!

il mulinobarInterioril mulino prime   interiorphotographychef mazza Prime Porterhouse Prime Filet Mignon salmon    nyc food photographer   photography

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Life Rolls On – Wildwood NJ

I had the recent pleasure of covering a day of fun and sun in Wildwood NJ at the Life Rolls On “Get On Board Tour.” Life Rolls On is a non-profit founded by Jesse Billauer. After he sustained a spinal cord injury while surfing, Jesse made it his mission to reach out and help others. LRO’s mission is to raise awareness, educate, and provide support through funding of spinal cord injury research.

There was an incredible turnout of volunteers and surfers, with smiles all around. Though I was familiar with LRO, I hadn’t yet been to an event. I fell into a quiet thinking mode during the day as I recorded the pure joy of wave riding. I aimed to capture emotion in journalistic style with a focus on water photography. We couldn’t have had a better weather day and the waves were perfect sized. Teams of volunteers were paired with riders and it was a collaboration effort to get someone surfing. Boards available ranged from longboards to WaveJets. Riders were all ages, from children to adults.  To see a list of events and how you can participate please check out the Life Rolls On homepage.

Rambler Road Beachjesse billauerwildwood crestdocumenting Happy helping hands  longboard pure joy  smiles support system surfing wildwood they will surf again wave ridingLife Rolls On in Wildwood NJ

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Stone Ohana – Santa Cruz, California

A portion of my month long stay in California included spending some time in Santa Cruz. This part of Northern California is fast becoming my favorite area of the country. Friendly people, great coffee and excellent weather lends itself to an active, outdoor lifestyle. While in town to shoot some longboarding and work on an article about local shaper Source Surfboards, I stayed with father and son: John and Reilly Stone. I feel so lucky to be welcomed into their daily lives. These are a few of my favorite images I made while hanging with the Stone Family.

reilly stoneboard selection reilly stone polish john and reilly

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