Hey!  Welcome to PhotographyOnTheSide.com

I'm Ryan Oakley, the guy behind this website.  I'm a passionate part-time photographer and I'm also a few other things too – a full-time Traffic Engineer, a walking audio tour creator, a coffee drinker, and proud father of 2 amazing kids..

With PhotographyOnTheSide.com I want to share what I have learned in the last 7 years as an artist and a part-time pro photographer.

What makes this site unique is that I am one of the few photographers out there that is NOT trying to “quit my day-job” to pursue a photography career full-time.

The needs of a part-time photographer is a lot different than a full-time or even someone trying to become a full-time photographer.

Here are 5 Reasons Why I'm Not Qualified to Teach You Anything About Photography and Why You Shouldn't Waste Your Valuable Time With Me.

  1. I have not been passionately in love with photography since I was a 3 year old.  In fact, I didn't really give 2 hoots about photography until I got my first “decent” point and shoot camera back in 2005 before going on a big trip to Thailand with my wife.  But once I did get that camera, I was hooked and have devoured the craft ever since.
  2. I will never start a sentence with…”Back in my film days…”  Sorry.  I never really had those days.  Sure I used to love picking up a freshly printed set of photos from the supermarket, but by no means would I call myself a “photographer” back then.  Yikes.
  3. I shoot weddings and family portraits part-time not full-time. I admire the person who shoots 30-40 weddings per year. But that just doesn't appeal to me. I have no intentions of trying to earn enough income from my camera to replace my day job. At least not yet, anyway.
  4. I don't own Photoshop CS. Photoshop is really expensive, and when I first started out it looked like it was a hell of a program to learn.  But it's also the industry standard for photo editing (which sounds weird to say compared to “photoshopped”).  So back when I started to shoot I told myself I would buy it when I felt I really needed it.  So far, I haven't really needed it. 98% of my workflow is done with Adobe Lightroom.  The rest is with Photoshop Elements.  There, I said it.
  5. There are times when I go weeks without shooting. I have a busy life and if I kept my camera around my neck 24/7 the back of my kids heads would be very bruised. So there are times when I put my camera away for long stretches. I do love taking great photos, but I'm probably not the most fanatic photographer you've ever met.

Yikes, I'm glad I got that off my chest.  Still here?  Cool.

And Now, 5 Reasons Why I Created This Website and Why You Might Want To Stick Around

  1. There is always something new to learn and something valuable to share with photography.  Books, websites, magazines, your own work — everywhere you go there is an opportunity to learn something new about photography (as well as business, for that matter).  I love to learn and try new things.  So a good chunk of this website is me showing you what I have learned and continue to learn about this wonderful business.
  2. I have found success in my part-time photography business.  I'm totally ok being a part-time photographer and will likely keep it that way unless something drastically changes in my life.  My financial goal with my side-business is to fund my very expensive hobby and to create some fun money outside of the family budget to do extravagant things like go on my brothers annual golf trip. Those are my goals, and I meet them every year. I'm confident that if I wanted to go full-time I could make it happen — but doing that comes with other life costs I'm not willing to sacrifice just yet.
  3. I have very happy clients.  I'm certainty not the most talented photographer in the world (or even my city).  But I don't care about that.  What I care about is having happy clients.  It is such a wonderful feeling to hand over an online gallery or a wedding book to a client and have them email or call you and tell you how happy they are with their photos.  I want to teach you how to make that happen for yourself.
  4. I promise to treat my Photography On The Side (POTS) readers like I do my photography clients.  I'm approaching this website like a true business.  I want to provide you with valuable content.  I want to get you excited about becoming a part-time photographer.  And I want to give you solid tools, tips, and tricks that you can use to make your career more fulfilling and profitable.  If I'm not doing that, please tell me ok?
  5. I want to connect.  What an age we live in that we can connect with like minded individuals all over the world.  We can ask questions, share stories, inspire, and challenge each other. It's incredible. And I want to be a part of this world wide community. :)

So there you have it. I'm here to stay and I hope you are too.

If you feel like saying hello you can find me publicly on twitter @photosontheside or privately by sending me an message from my contact page.

Here's to your success, and mine!

Ryan Oakley