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After graduating from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in business and taking a job in the field, Chris Ryan found his days consumed with work he didn’t love.
“I value doing things that are meaningful. We spend too much time working to not make it count,” said Chris. “I truly believe in the pursuit of passion.”
Chris felt compelled to work in a more creative environment, so he started taking photography classes at SCC. Thanks to the general education credits from his business degree, Chris earned an associate degree in only a year.
He said he enjoyed studying photography so much at SCC that he decided to transfer to Ringling College of Art and Design where he went on to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Chris started working in St. Louis for his professional mentor Greg Kiger shortly after graduation. “He saw my potential,” he said. “Sometimes creative people aren’t knowledgeable on the business side of things, but I didn’t have that limitation because of my previous experience.”
Over time, Greg and Chris partnered as co-creative directors to establish Once Films, a production studio that creates documentary films. He also works as an adjunct faculty member at SCC.
Though spare time is limited for Chris, he makes time to volunteer at Team Rubicon by responding to international and domestic disasters. Helping those impacted by disasters is his passion, because he has family who lost their house in Katrina. He is search and rescue certified and a licensed paramedic, and uses his creative talents during disasters to document the event.
“I have a hobby for a real job and do real jobs for a hobby,” said Chris. “The ball has bounced in my favor more times than one. I just hope to continue do work that makes me and those I work with proud.”
Of all Chris’ accomplishments, he says his biggest success has been the St. Louis Spotlight Series, a celebration of St. Louis small businesses that exude authentic character and a passion for their craft. The series won multiple awards, including a MidAmerican EMMY.
View Chris’ portfolio at chrisryan.photography.
Last updated: July 1, 2015