Interview with Rylan Meadows | GBPW Episode 158

3 min read

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Rylan Meadows.

Instagram used to be photo-centric. Now, they’ve moved into the video side of things, which is okay. I’ve learned to adapt. That’s something we have to do in this industry all the time.

Rylan Meadows

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wildlife photo of fox hiding in the grass on a sunny day

In this episode, I speak with 18-year-old photographer Rylan Meadows. In the last 4 years, Rylan has built an impressive portfolio, published a photography book, and attracted thousands of people to his work on different social media platforms.

We talk about:

  • The art of taking sharp photographs of the moon
  • How to create engaging TikTok videos as a photographer
  • Tips for anyone who wants to create their own photography book

& much more!

As a young photographer who’s active on many social media platforms, Rylan has a lot of knowledge that could help you improve both online and offline. This is the perfect episode for anyone who wants to find inspiration in different photography genres.

Here is a preview of our conversation with Rylan Meadows.

long exposure landscape photo taken on a beach by Rylan Meadows

Q: There’s more to wildlife photography equipment than camera gear. What else should photographers bring to a shoot?

Rylan Meadows: I would honestly argue that a lot of the time, camera equipment is down on the totem pole when it comes to wildlife photography. There are a lot of important things that you’re going to need out there that aren’t just a lens and a camera.

A really good one of those is camouflage. It can’t just be stereotypical camouflage. You have to blend into your environment.

Something else that’s really good is bug spray. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out in the field and I’ve just been pestered with mosquitoes and other bugs. It also protects you from ticks.

It’s nice to keep water with you to stay hydrated. A good tripod is really important.

close-up photo of the moon by Rylan Meadows

Q: What is the craziest experience that you’ve had while taking photographs of wildlife?

Rylan Meadows: I was in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at Cades Cove and I had an insane close up encounter. I was in my car, thankfully. Just a few feet away, there was a black bear with her three cubs. They were so close.

It would have been so dangerous if I was out of my car, so definitely make sure that you know what you’re doing. If you’re photographing wildlife, learn about your subject. It would have been stupid for me to get out of my car and try to get a picture of them.

That was such an intense and exciting moment. The adrenaline that comes along with that is just insane.

bird photo taken in the winter by Rylan Meadows

Q: If you could meet your future self now, what photography-related question, would you ask him?

Rylan Meadows: I would just ask myself if I learned how to travel professionally. Something that I really want to be able to do once I graduate college is to be able to sustain an income to where I can travel the world while taking pictures.

That’s so cliche, but it’s such a big dream of mine. I would love to travel all the time and take pictures.


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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.

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