Ten years ago, Ryan Calderon picked up a camera to help his friend with a photo shoot for his clothing store. From there, it didn’t take long for the self-taught photographer’s style of capturing and editing images of beautiful women to get noticed, and the models he was shooting started referring him to their friends in other industries.
These days, Calderon’s seductive shots have amassed over 200K Instagram followers (@ryan__calderon) and comprise an impressive portfolio that features some of the adult industry’s biggest players.
While Calderon grew up and currently lives in the beach town of Santa Barbara, he frequently travels to Los Angeles for work. He says he rarely shoots in the same place twice, and prefers locations with “raw beauty,” such as deserts, or basic indoor settings. “I like that ‘at home just lounging around’ feel if I’m shooting inside.”
The photographer’s signature style is all about catching intimate moments and recreating visuals the way the mind would, and he’s a master of the crop and unconventional angles. “For example,” Calderon explains, “when you think back on an amazing night with a wild one,
your mind will break the moment down scene by scene, and the smallest details come to life like snapshots. You can be sitting at work and, all of a sudden, an image of those lips is in your head. Just the lips. I try to replicate the thoughts you can’t erase.”
Calderon counts both movies and history as inspiration, and will often base a shoot around something he found in a thrift store. He also keeps an arsenal of random objects at home for when the right model comes along. “I always have several ideas in the tomb for months, even years, just waiting for the stars to align,” he says.
His advice for young photographers? “What I’ve learned is not to take things too seriously. Don’t get anxious about when things are going to happen, just have fun taking advantage of the opportunities that will eventually come.”