Already well known internationally for his advertising and editorial work, photographer Seamus Ryan embarked on a unique series of portraits involving the general public in 2006. These projects, collectively known as Sunday Shoots, take place each Sunday in his studio (based in busy Columbia Road Flower Market, in London’s East End).
Each Sunday hundreds of people visit the space to take part. These portrait projects attempt to reveal different aspects of personality, identity and spirit while at the same time exploring the myriad possibilities of portrait photography.
The Sunday Shoots are free to participate in and everyone (and their dog) is welcome. The images are posted to this Sunday Shoots website a few days later where they are available to purchase as fine-art, archival prints.
It’s a personal project that has thrown up a huge wealth of great material, and it ha’s also demonstrated the willingness of the public to throw themselves full-length into the creation of very individual works of art. The resulting images are testimony to this collaboration between photographer and subject.
The energy created in the studio on a Sunday is completely unique, with spectators shouting out encouragement, friends laughing at the images as they appear on screen and a charged atmosphere as each visitor receives their moment in the spotlight. For many people it is the first time they have taken part in an art project or been photographed by a professional photographer.
Seamus Ryan was born in London in 1964 but grew up in Dublin, Ireland. At college he studied Environmental Management but soon realised that photography was to be his passion. He came to London in 1984 to assist advertising still life photographer Alasdair Ogilvie.
In 1988 Seamus established his own studio and was soon commissioned by many top London agencies for his unique style of still life. In the early nineties Seamus began experimenting with portraiture and relaunched himself as a people photographer.
He has since worked on many national and international advertising campaigns for clients such as Nike, Guinness, British Airways, Toblerone, and Oxfam. He has photographed many familiar faces; Tom Stoppard, Eric Cantona, Helena Christensen, Peter Gabriel, Brian Cox, Jools Holland, Geoff Boycott, Jonathon Ross, Michael Palin among others.
He has been awarded by the Association of Photographers and D&AD for his work and has had work shown in the National Portrait Gallery in London as part of the John Kobal and Schweppes Portrait Awards on three occasions. His portrait of Tom Stoppard has recently been acquired by the National Portrait Gallery. You can view Seamus’ website at www.seamus.co.uk.
The Booth Nation photo booth, designed by Seamus Ryan, has featured in several Sunday Shoots. Information on shoots and hiring the booth can be found at www.boothnation.com