Live from the 15th Floor with Ryane Watkins

I put my subjects into scenarios.

I try to judge what you’ll best respond to. Sometimes it’s talking to the cute cashier at the corner bodega; sometimes it’s chasing down that Friday-afternoon-before-summer-vacation feeling. More than once, I’ve been treated to a riff on Leonidas’s epic rallying rhetoric. With Ryane Watkins, it was decided not meeting a handsome yacht-tour magnate at a hostel bar in rural Greece.

It was meeting a handsome yacht-tour magnate at a hotel bar in rural Greece. Ryane doesn’t do hostels anymore.

Nothing for it. She’s just worked in hotel sales and management long enough, and she’s happy to leave the chore lists communal bathrooms in her 20s. In fact, I just gave her the hostel bar to work with, and she filled in the rest. Before we finished, she’d scored herself and her boyfriend a nighttime Aegean cruise from that generous, handsome stranger. And as she took off for the Mediterranean, turning the Grecian sunset over in her mind’s eye, I clicked the shutter.

It was a planned coincidence, which flows from my philosophy of collaboration. If you sit for me, I’ll ask you an ever-growing list of questions before you even book our time, so I can get to know you, and what you want. By shooting where you feel comfortable, we invite kismet. Sometimes it’s the movie-making magic of turning a white living room wall into a black background. Sometimes it’s overlooking the Charles from the 15th floor of the Beacon Hill Wyndham Hotel.

Travel is in her marrow. With the hazy edges of Boston and Cambridge 1500′ behind and below her, Ryane’s headshot had to be rooted in a place. And why not Beacon Hill? Why not the top floor of the hotel she works in every day, like a launchpad, ready to spin the compass wheel and fly?

Where’s your launchpad? Where can you retire to, that can take you anywhere?

Ryane Watkins

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The author

Writing since 1995, designing since 2000, and shooting since 2014.

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