Interview: Pat Ryder

Creator PRO | Pat Ryder’s Snapwire profile is filled with clean lifestyle stock photography and tasty food settings for Skip the Dishes, while Ryder’s personal work pulls tones of old film, plays with shadows, and has a hint of fashion forward grunge. Recently completing 100 shoots with us, we wanted to sit down and get to know one of our top contributors based out of Toronto, Canada.

Photo of Pat Ryder by: ADVANCED |  Sean Pollock

Photo of Pat Ryder by: ADVANCED | Sean Pollock

Tell us a little about you. What are you passionate about? What do you do?  What's your favorite food? You know, the important things.

Well my name is Pat Ryder and I’m a photographer and creative from Mississauga, Ontario and I’m passionate about a lot of things!  My day to day consists of anything from a couple photo shoots to watching a football match with friends, cooking with my mum, or getting together with other creatives to either make something cool or start brainstorming. I love working with people from across the creative spectrum, whether it’s food, music, fashion or cars, there is a creative element to the way all of them shape and define culture. I think that’s the best part about being a photographer, is the freedom to work within a wide range of subjects and still be able to express a certain level of storytelling. Speaking of food, I started working at a restaurant when I was 17 so food has played a big part of my life so far. It’s so important culturally and impactful on the world, so it’s easy to love and important to pay attention to. I feel like really good food is made with care and can take on its own means of expression. If I had to pick a favourite food I’d probably have to choose guacamole, I don’t have it very often but it’s a real treat I gotta say.

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How did you get started in photography?

My interest in photography started back in university I think? I would always do the most for that perfect insta pic with my friends on our phones and I always enjoyed playing with the colours and editing after on vsco. I bought my first camera two years ago and I haven’t looked back since. With the help and guidance of some really amazing friends, I’ve started to develop my own style and begun to figure out what photography means to me. I’m really glad I tried something outside of my comfort zone and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. Another thing that furthered my love for photography was going out and getting an old film cam. Film is one of the coolest things about photography because of the nostalgia factor you get after getting a roll developed, nothing can replace that feeling. Film taught me to be more in the moment, it humbled me and continues to teach me to trust myself behind the camera.  

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You have a very distinct style in your personal work, playing a lot with shadows and color blocking. How did you develop your style? What inspires you?

First of all, thank you for saying that, I think it’s still a work in progress, but I feel like I’m slowly getting somewhere, so it means a lot.  As for how I developed it, I guess I’ve just been shooting as often as I can. The more you shoot the more you begin to pay attention to details that matter to you. Colours are a huge thing for me, I’ve always loved the way they complement one another and can create their own energy, especially when paired with some cool lighting. Shadows are another fun thing to pay attention to. I always tell myself to trust my shadows, but never too much. A lot like real life I suppose, it’s all about a finding that perfect balance. In terms of inspiration I think it happens when I’m actually shooting. It’s all about a moment or two and capturing them to tell a story. It can change from place to place and from person to person, it all depends on how it feels.

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Congrats on recently completing 100 shoots for Snapwire! Tell us about a couple projects you enjoyed working on with us. Were there any surprises, successes, or struggles?

Honestly it’s been so much fun working with all the different types of food our amazing home has to offer. It’s really fun learning about and trying different dishes and getting to know a little bit more about the restaurant and the owners while I’m shooting. The commute can definitely be a killer but who’s isn't? Plus most places like to feed me pretty well so I really can’t complain. One of my favourite restaurants that I worked with was Butter Chicken Roti on Queen West in Toronto. The owner, Abhishek, was really passionate about his food and wanted to make sure his food was represented in the best way possible. The presentation suited his restaurant perfectly and was able to communicate with people on the app in a creative way. It’s been a really rewarding opportunity, where I’ve been able to meet some really fantastic people and try some equally as fantastic food.

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Do you have any advice or tips for fellow photographers?

Most definitely. Photography is so amazing because you can make whatever you want of it, as long as you’re happy. I think the most important thing I’ve learned over the last two years is to trust that you’re doing your best, being true to yourself and don’t spend the energy worrying about someone else’s negativity, when you can spend it on yourself or on someone’s positivity. Once you start doing your thing and making sure you’re happy with what you’re shooting, just continue to practice and challenge yourself as often as you can. You’re only going to get better and more comfortable.

Photo of Pat Ryder by: ADVANCED |  Sean Pollock

Photo of Pat Ryder by: ADVANCED | Sean Pollock