On paper, it may seem like Mornington Peninsula-based photographer Ryan Wheatley doesn’t really have a set speciality when it comes to shooting. His work features landscapes, portraits, fashion, highly stylised studio shots and everything in between which may sound like someone who hasn’t yet found their footing in the field. Looking over his portfolio, however, you quickly realise he not only has mastered all of the genres above, but also that there’s a surreal wash over all his shots that unify them as an entire body of work.
It’s a far cry from his humble introduction to the craft – one that is all too familiar to the team here at LWA. “I actually always used to carry a disposable camera around with me to parties,” Ryan says. “From there a point and click digital camera from using that I landed a job taking photos at a nightclub.”
“Besides the disposable cameras, I used to use my dad’s Olympus OM1. The first real memory was taking a photo of myself in the mirror without asking my parents if I could. They got the film back and confronted me about it, I denied everything; till a very blurry photo of myself in the mirror was presented to me.”
Throughout his career Ryan has shot pretty much anything you can think of – weddings, to high fashion, local labels, product snaps for food and beverage companies, artistically driven shoots – proving that he’s no one-trick pony. That said his often ghostly portraits stand out his most visually intoxicating, which is perhaps influenced by the people and scenery that surround him.
“The person [I like to shoot most] would be my wife but she gets a little sick of me… we have just had a baby so she’s my new model. Down where I live around Cape Schanck is just stunning so wild and beautiful. Taking landscape photos is great, but I think I am really passionate about portraits and people. Shooting people in amazing locations is the dream!”