Photography jobs

A look into the future of photography with Ryan Marshall

“I want to work with people who just want to have pictures of themselves that they can be proud of and appreciate”

“Jobs of the Future” is a series focusing on career paths, local employment opportunities, programs and success stories that highlight North Bay’s diverse job market.


Social media has changed and influenced many aspects of our daily lives, including the number of people who do their jobs. North Bay photographer Ryan Marshal said one of the most dramatic changes caused by social media is in the photography industry.

“Social media has created a generation of customers who just want you to capture what they were doing,” he says.

Marshall sees it as an evolution of the genre through the generations.

“Photography has gone from ‘smiling at the camera’ to ‘capturing an authentic moment’,” says Marshall.

“Sometimes it looks awesome and social media has brought that trend to where you’re trying to make it look like you were right there in the moment.”

And he says this trend can be a very profitable market for photographers to capitalize on. He says, “Social media has created a demand to look fabulous all the time, and that has made photography a service. ”

But he says the trend is really not his niche

“I want to work with people who just want to have pictures of themselves that they can be proud of and appreciate,” he says.

“I’ve been doing this for about a decade and last year I took a big step forward photographing my 100th wedding. Whenever you can reach such a number, you can feel quite accomplished.

Marshall says he loves the thrill and excitement that comes with photography on wedding day.

“Not everyone can do them,” he says.

“I really like the challenge of going through a wedding day because you really have a chance at everything. I just have to go with the flow of everything that’s going on. If the dad of the bride takes her down the aisle I can’t scream “okay everyone can we stop for a second I need to take this pic here!” “I just have to do my best to get this shot. First kiss, first dance, there are so many times in this day that you need to be aware of and now how you are going to tackle this.

Marshall says you get a list of the photos clients want, but outside of that, there are so many times during this day that aren’t planned out and that capture people in candid situations, “turn out to be one of the best things “.

“I really love the human experience and that’s what’s really cool about weddings too, you hear all of these stories and you get a real window into the lives of these people, that authentic glimpse into what the people are like. people, ”says Marshall. , who adds that this is one of the reasons he was drawn to photography in the first place.

“I have always had a fascination with art and with human nature and photography has given me this bond where you can capture the human experience. I just thought if I can be good at it it could be a profitable business venture that just felt natural. I didn’t go to photography school, I did a mentorship program with Shawn Moreton that allowed me to help him do weddings where I was in charge of lighting and that sort of thing. installation.

And from there, he’s now photographed 100 weddings on his own, some at destination.

“One in Mexico, one in the Florida Keys and there was an opportunity for me to have a wedding in Australia for a friend from high school who lives there,” he says.

“One of the really cool things about being a photographer is that there can be travel and you can go to places and see places you never thought you would reach.”

Marshall says no matter how much you’ve done, you should always be prepared for any situation that could throw all that planning out the window.

“I had a wedding last June and the wedding party said they wanted their photos on display at Nipissing University Monastery. Well the black flies up there are a real thing and immediately when we are went there the ladies’ dresses just got covered and they got bitten and it was so bad we had to move, ”says Marshall.

“All of a sudden it was like ‘Ok Ryan, where are we going?’ and this is where you just need to have something in your back pocket and get a general idea of ​​the best places to take pictures in the area you are working in.

Marshall says that aside from weddings, family portraits and other shoots, his biggest achievement is getting the photographer’s job for the upcoming North Bay Fire Department 2022 schedule, in support of the integration community.

“What a great thing to be a part of,” says Marshall.

“Anytime you can partner up with a charity and do something like that, it’s really worth it. This is really a win-win for me because they are going to print 3,000 copies of this calendar that will have my name on it, but they are fundraising for such an amazing cause.

And it is a cause close to his heart.

“Because of my full-time role as an educator, I work a lot with struggling students coming out of high school and relying on community living for their next steps in life,” he says.

“So besides showing my portfolio, I think what separated me from the others was knowing Community Living and what their organization does and the fact that I’m very invested in seeing these young people succeed when they left. secondary school. and knowing how much this timeline is going to help fundraising, it all felt so natural. ”

Marshall says he had to compete with seven other photographers in an interview process and initially missed the interview deadline.

“Somehow the email was missed,” he says.

“I finally saw it and responded right after the deadline saying I was interested if they hadn’t made a decision yet. They had a last minute spot for an interview and said they had already picked the person but were interested in what I should bring. So I walked in, and I guess I was having a great day and rocking everything and it was connected and they said you really impressed us in the interview and we decided to change and I got the job.

Marshall says it was a process that couldn’t have happened without North Bay firefighter Brian Samson.

“I gave him the title of ‘Creative Director of the Photographer’ because he set up all the sets and took us around all the places and set all the schedules for the models,” says Marshall.

“He was so organized and every shoot was so well organized. We did one at Gateway City Brewing, we went to Canadore Aviation Campus, we did Chippewa Creek. It was quite laborious for everyone. Just the journey these guys take just to be in the shape they’re in and the demands on themselves is awesome, I mean they look like superheroes.

Marshall says he has hired interns in the past, but the main advice he gives to people who want to become photographers in the future is to market themselves on social media.

“Contract photography is very competitive due to the ease of entry into the field. Anyone with a camera and social media account is a photographer. But like musicians and other artists, talent will get you hired.

Marshall adds, “I am very grateful for the opportunity to provide people with snapshots of their loved ones and their experiences.”

If you have a story idea for the Jobs of the Future series, email Matt at [email protected]