Why You Need To Copyright your Images

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©2017 Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

In this post, I want to share a “bedtime story” with you all. Yes….for my closest friends and family members, you know what this post is about. I’ve waited a long time, but with so many stories showing up on PetaPixel, two years is long enough I think. For the sake of what happened, I can’t name the band.

But first!

Why do I need copyright my images? I mean, once I click the shutter and take the picture, it’s mine.

Ok, technically that’s true legally. However if someone steals your images, if they are not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to anything bad happening, you may only recover “actual damages” instead of “statutory damages.” What this means is  that you as the photographer will only be entitled to the “fair market value” of your work, instead of what could be up to a $150,000 award, plus legal fees. (Parts of this description came from https://www.format.com/magazine/resources/photography/photography-copyright-law-guide )

So if you need to hire a copyright lawyer, the first thing they will ask you is if the images in question have been registered yet. If yes, then you can proceed. If no, well, that’s going to be harder if your case goes all the way through and in front of a judge. The reason behind this is that professionals take the time to register their images because of the value to them and their livelihood, whereas say a, hobbyist, may not. Someone stealing images from a person and using it means a huge loss in revenue for a photographer.

I’m not going to go in detail on how to go through the process of registering your images. There are plenty of sites that can help you with this if you Google it. My favorite sites are:

The Photo Attorney


A great article from Photoshelter 5 Things Photographers Can Do to Protect Their Images Online

Here is a great video from Scott Wyden Kivowitz on how to prep your images for the US Copyright Office using Lightroom. Lately I’ve been using Capture One Pro, but I can apply what he does here to that too.

A fellow photographer got me into this site Pixsy and what they do is really cool. You sign up, and sync your images with them either directly from your computer or social media site, website, etc. They find matches of your images online, and send you an alert. Then they’ll give you options on how you want to proceed, and yes they can handle international infringements. The service is free for up to 500 images. If you have more images that you want to have monitored they have different monthly plans. Now you don’t get the full amount if you win, they keep 50% except the the highest paid plan, you keep 55%. Overall, it’s not a bad system and I did have an image that their software found. I contacted them and they took care of it, done. I highly recommend trying it out and going with it, if you do find something that’s a huge deal then get a copyright lawyer.

Ok now that we have all of that taken cared of let’s go one with my experience shall we?

Back in 2015, I went to a concert here in my town and thanks to my buddy, a popular band from way back came to perform. The opening act was The Successful Failures and that was my first time seeing them. I was in the audience doing my usual thing, taking pictures. I wasn’t paid to be there, actually I paid for my tickets. But I asked if it was ok to take pictures and he said sure. I had my Canon Mark 5D III, the 16-35mm f2.8 L lens, and the 70-200mm f2.8 L non-IS lens. I’m working the room, doing my best to not be in the way of people enjoying the show. And we’re all having a great time, enjoying the hit songs we all love.

After the show, my husband and I meet the performers, the lead singer is a friend of my friend, and he introduces me. We get our photos taken, hands shaken, it was a great night. Before they went onstage, I met the previous band this way too, exchanged information.

Later on, I post the images from that night to this blog, watermarked them as you see here. Shared the post to social media and of course to my friend. The lead singer of The Successful Failures reached out via email and told me how he and his band members loved the images that I had posted. He wanted to know if they could use some of the images on their website and social media and how much it would cost. And touched upon the photo project for their new album.

I got back to him because at the time, I wasn’t sure how to price this sort of request. But I could see the value in what they do and they knew the value of what I do, there was going to be an awesome photoshoot coming up, I love their music, and most importantly, they asked for my permission. So I came up with a web sized per image price and we agreed upon it, had them sign a contract and that was it.

I follow the bands that I photograph on FB, Instagram and on Twitter.  That’s when I noticed that that well known band had screenshot my images right off my blog and was using them on their FB, Twitter and Instagram with a link to their merchandise section to sell stuff like shirts and cds. That’s called using my work illegally for advertising. So at first I was pissed, but I played it cool because this is a friend of my friend. So I private messaged the band with this and I’m so happy that I had the insight to make screen copies. 

If you can’t read it here’s what it says:

“Hey there! While I’m flattered that you like my images, I’m not cool with the screenshots and on my blog it does state that all images are copyright Deirdre Ryan Photography. Please do not copy in any way, this includes screenshots, thank you. I wanted to be nice, be cool. I’ll let it slide this one time, but please tag me and please change all posts to include Photo by Deirdre Ryan www.deirdreryanphotography.com thanks. This includes Instagram 🙂 My FB Page is http://www.facebook.com/deirdreryanphoto I’m re-branding myself again as a commercial and editorial photographer, so this would greatly help me and as a friend of Randy’s 🙂 Oh I forgot, if you could tag my IG with my IF @deirdreryanphoto Thanks again! Have a super awesome day!”

Looking back now I realize what I dork I sounded like LOL! I wasn’t asking for money or being a jerk. I just wanted photo credit. And as you can see, it was seen.

I waited a while and nothing….crickets…so I added my photo credit in the comments. Then, and I wish I took screenshots of those, they deleted my credits! And I saw that some fans had shared my image.


I tried again and they blocked me! WTH? So I hopped on IG and not only did they block me, they cropped out my watermark and slapped some crappy IG filters on some of them. The reason I knew this was because I had another IG account that they didn’t know about(ha!). I had added my credits in the comments there and at the time you couldn’t delete them, but I was blocked from their Twitter too! So I had my friends monitor their account for me. I think that they asked them in the credits who took the photos, etc. and they got blocked and deleted too, I can’t remember right now.

Here is what the originals looked like on my blog posting:RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography RandyNowConcert_Men Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography Without Hats_The Successful Failures_Photos By Deirdre Ryan Photography

(If you notice, the copyright symbol isn’t on them, at the time, I didn’t think I needed it. But now I have them on now, but I wanted to show you what they looked like for reference.)

So I first I got a hold of my friend that I network with, she is a copyright lawyer. In fact we’re still in touch. She suggested that I email the band first, so I found their manager’s email. Btw, they have a different manager now.

Dear _______,

My name is Deirdre Ryan, I’m a professional photographer in New Jersey, (USA).
I’ve spoken with an attorney with whom I’m in the process of retaining. Before I go ahead and do so, I want to give you an opportunity to take down all of my images.
Please call back as soon as possible _________.

Take down you images from where?


These are images I shot of ________ that I posted on my website’s blog(Recent Work). These images are on their Instagram and Facebook accounts and they were Tweeted. Two were posted last week, and four this week. 

So let me get this straight..

You went down, and shot the band… The band posted low rez pictures that you posted online of THEM live… and you have a problem with this… and now have the nerve to threaten us with lawyers?? am I getting this right?

Based on the tone of his last email, I called my lawyer up and I said, you deal with this. I could tell right away that this guy was hostile and would not offer a dime. I put her on a retainer and then the nightmare began. But I was really thankful that I had her. She then asked me to draw up an estimate of what this would cost them, so I did.

Their manager was rude, mean and over the phone with my lawyer, it was F this and F that, he clearly had a problem. He didn’t see the issue with what I had with my work being stolen to be used on their social media outlets and with a link to sell merchandise. I wasn’t asking for anything other than taking them down. I tried to be nice, asking for photo credit, then emailing with a polite and direct message.

Instead he was an asshole. Never asked for permission, deleted my photo credits, ignored my messages, and it took about 3 months for them to take my images down. In the end, I’m “banned” from their future shows(no big deal to me), and you know what he told my lawyer? This is “rich”….he was just trying to help a young photographer out.


If you wanted to help a “young” photographer out, you would’ve done what I asked for in the first place.

Next time someone steals my work like this again, they are going to pay me. I went through this ordeal because I didn’t want them to think that they could push anyone around, ESPECIALLY women. I didn’t this for  myself, but for other creatives out there.  They had stolen from the Getty’s site too so it’s only going to be a matter of time before they will end up shelling out thousands of dollars.

Should You Hire A Pro Photographer For Your Business?

This goes out to all of my creative friends and peers out there. I’m sure you can all relate.

I’m sharing this  because my friend, another photographer, got burned 2 days before an event by people he knew for another photographer! People, this is our livelihood! This is how we make a living. He could’ve made GOOD money on that day but instead saved it for non-deserving folks. I know how he feels, truly I do, I’ve been there. I’m asked why am I so expensive, why do I need to sign a contract and a model release? Why do you copyright your images?
Well you asked, now I’m going to blog about it. And I’m hearing more stories like this all the time. Don’t be that person. Thank you

The other day I posted this on my Facebook page:

I am part of many Facebook groups, and on one of them, the admin is trying to stop others from the constant selling from everyone who posts. Posting just to sell and run is not just boring and tiring, we don’t get to know the person behind the business. What is it that drives you? What do you want? Here’s what I want: consistant work, clients who value what I do, and come back to me and not just go to the cheapest or a photographer who does it for free. That’s not how you build business relationships. I understand that we all have bills to pay, the same goes for me and my family. But I got into my career not just because I have a B.F.A. in Photography but it’s something that I knew instinctively since I was very little. Thank you  www.deirdreryanphotography.com

I want to start a conversation, is investing in professional photography for your business worth it?

Let’s go back in history with me for a few moments or more. While I was re-building my business, I had worked for free for credit, producing what I thought to be great images, and looking back I can see where I have improved. But, I was going with the art direction or my own limitations for whatever reasons. This is called portfolio building and for some I was paid and told that I would be hired back and then to found out that instead they went with someone who did the remaining work for free. Or other clients hired someone else, or friends, neighbors, of mine would use other photographers or a chain like JC Penny’s.

When you are doing everything in your power to build a business and make money to support your family….this hurts. And you know it’s happening because, well, Facebook…hello. My friends know or should know me well enough to come to me, and I will cut them a huge break. Or if you’re a business and I started something, and it’s tough for you as well, at least hire me back and let me finish the job. I understand, all you needed to do was ask, talk to me, right? Don’t let me find out on social media. This has happened more than once. Reaching out to those who have the power to help me get in front of small businesses in my area and beyond haven’t helped me either. But I see them use other photographers, which is fine and the work is great. However when I do buy local or support small businesses, I don’t get the same respect with repeat customers from said other businesses.

This is a stab to the heart and you try so hard not to take it personal, it’s business. But you can’t help it. We’re artists and creative people tend to be sensitive. It sucks, we put on a brave face and a huge smile every day. Our work is out there for the world to judge and see all the time.  Yes, I did ask for this career and I do love i, but I know that I’m not the only one.

So, back to the original question:  is investing in professional photography worth it?

YES! Why?

Let’s look at the real estate market first. Now I understand that the salespeople and brokers must pay for many of the expenses of marketing properties up front unless I’m wrong. But I’m seeing a lot of horrible cell phone or point and shoot camera photos that are literally thrown up on the site. It doesn’t do the properties any good and as a possible buyer, I know that wouldn’t entice me. And if I was the seller, frankly I would be more than upset. From my research, it seems that real estate photography is still inexpensive for what you get but it’s anywhere from $150-$300 in my area. And what about real estate agents still getting their headshots taken with a cell phone against a white wall in the office?? Please hire someone that knows what they’re doing, invest in yourself, make others take you seriously. I’ll admit, I’m not a real estate photographer, but I know for sure that I wouldn’t use a cell phone to sell any property.

For non-profits, yes you need professional photography to get more donations and marketing to get better reach for your cause. But pay the photographers, we know there’s money for us somewhere. I’ve done my fair share of work for credit and let me tell you something….nothing has come out of those.

A professional photographer wrote a post and gave a creative license for everyone to use it.

Reasons Why Professional Photographers Cannot Work For Free

But, but….I can’t afford a professional photographer, you’re all so expensive! I can just take a fancy Canon or Nikon DSLR with a pop-up flash or my cell phone, that’s all we need. 

Look, I get it, in fact we all do. And if that’s all you can do for certain things, go ahead. However let me tell you something when you put a camera on auto. Those photos may or may not come out. My daughter was in a 5K earlier this year and they had a guy taking pictures. He didn’t have a flash and when I heard the shutter, it sound very slow.

I used my mirrorless camera, because I’m a mom first, I was there taking pictures of her and this time I didn’t bring my huge Canon gear like I had to last time, I had to because using a cell phone is not acceptable. And oh this year it poured.

Well, I saw the pictures that the guy took, they posted them on Facebook, and most were out of focus, blurry and I was right about the shutter speed being too slow. I felt bad for the parents who thought that they were getting great images. But this is a classic case of you get what you pay for.

Be Your Own Brand

For businesses you want images that fit you and your brand.If you use stock images, your customers are not going to see who the real people behind the business really are. Also by using a stock image, there’s a big chance that someone else is using it as well. Tell your story by being unique, work with a photographer, bounce ideas off each other and have fun with it.

The owner of Wholetrition helps to train a client using the heavy ropes as part of her workout routine. The owner of Wholetrition helps to train a client using a weighted ball as part of her workout routine.


Why am I so expensive?

If you ask around, I’m expensive, or some people think I’m very reasonable for the support that I give my clients with what I provide for them. Some of my friends who are photographers charge way more than I do and think that I should do the same. And I’m very close to it. Many factors come into play, but first is this:

I run a business. When you have a business, you pay quarterly sales taxes, insurance, extra bills, leases, and oh if you think that digital is not as expensive as film, you’re very much in the wrong here. There’s the time we spend editing the images. We’re constantly having to upgrade our camera bodies as they don’t last as long. Cards get corrupted, computers need upgrading, repairing or replacing. Websites aren’t free, same with domains, and since I’m a pro Canon user, I pay for a service to get discounted repairs and cleanings. Is that worth it? Yes, because last year I had to have 2 flash hotshoes and the top of my Canon 5D Mark III replaced…$480. Without the discount it would’ve been double that. Oh and don’t forget that we’re constantly backing up files, that costs money too on hard drives and the cloud. Credit cards charge fees too. I have a CPA.  A copyright lawyer. Bills for the car, healthcare, daily living expenses, networking events, marketing,  copyright and usage fees, oh and there’s my experience.

Let’s talk about my experience. 

How much is your time worth? When you work with someone who takes a longer time and is not able to give you what you want the first time, with the quality you need, the creativity and customer experience behind what I do. Do you want to miss deadline and get sub par work? How many times have you gone into a place  like a restaurant and said,”Hey, I love your food, I’ll pay you half of what you’re asking for. If I like what I’m eating, because I’m an established business and I’ll come back and refer you to others.” Sounds nuts right?  But what I’m saying is if you ARE an established business then you know the value of what I do already. I mean you don’t want to say, go to a deep discount plastic surgeon or lasik eye doctor right? So considering what I charge,  for what I do, I’m well worth it.

Moving Forward….

There will be people who will not like this post, and that’s fine. I don’t like it either, however there are many things that I’ve had to explain over and over again to others and I wanted to get it out in the open. I’ve worked in this field with all men who talk rough, so in turn, I’ve had to play that game to survive at times. In the end, I know who my target market is and is not. I’ve come too far to give up, I’m not a quitter. My goals are clear, and I need to keep moving forward.

My next post will one of answer these questions:

Why do I need to sign a contract and a model release? Why do you copyright your images?

I Am A Pre-Existing Portraits-A Personal Project

Amongst my family and friends, it’s no big secret that my political views are liberal. Here my blog, I do try to stay neutral. However I am a big advocate that healthcare is a basic right for everyone. No matter what medical conditions that you have now and not, eventually as we all age, we will have Pre-Existing Conditions.  This is just a fact of life.

Since Trump became the person to be in our White House, I’ve been part of groups to bring about awareness. I may not be able to be able to go to every meeting, but I do my best to spread the word, make phone calls and not just stand in the sidelines. I was part of a small press conference,  UniteWomen.org allowed me to document the Women’s March in Washington D.C. on their behalf, and more.

One of the many projects in our small town is to send out postcards to representatives both local and nationally.

My idea is to take portraits of the very people that the votes affect directly, by putting them on a postcard that gets sent out to local and national government representatives. A face to the causes that they vote on, to make our voices heard visually. 

Because this is a personal project that I needed volunteers for, I asked that everyone I photographed to purchase at least 25 cards and postage on their own. I decided to go with Moo because I can order batches with different images on the front. This is who I order my business cards from and I am always happy with the results. The Dorothea Dix Unitarian Universalist Community in our town is where our groups hold meetings, and they generously allowed me to photograph the portraits there.

I asked for volunteers via our Bordentown Neighbors Acting Together(BNAT) Facebook Group and I had about 10 or more respond. But because everyone has different schedules, who you see here is who I was able to photograph on that particular day.

My goal is to continue this project, get more people so that it creates more of an impact.

Some of the pre-existing conditions that I was told about the people for this project are:

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©2017 Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

My friend’s mother in-law is a gymnast.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

My husband took this one of me.

I Am A Pre-Existing. I am depending on you to work together to improve the ACA.

Behind the scenes for I Am A Pre-Existing Portrait personal photo project.

This is a behind the scenes for I Am A Pre-Existing Portrait personal photo project.  The oval of light coming through the muslin is the window of the front door. I shot tethered with my Canon Mark 5D III. I tried a few different setups, and decided on one light with a Phototek and a reflector. I’ve had this brown-is muslin for a long time and knew that this was the project that would lend itself nicely for it. I had everyone sit on an applebox or stand. I kept the light up on the boom, but ended up not using it. I have these images in b/w and a sepia tone to them. I wasn’t sure how I liked them that way or not. But in the end, I stayed with full colour.

Below is a behind the scenes video that is straight out of my Olympus mirrorless camera shot by my husband, David. It’s just video clips slapped together in iMovie, because I’m not an editor like he is. Eventually he’ll make something better for me when he gets some time in his busy schedule. You’ll see us having a good time, me being silly and how I like to make everyone feel good about themselves, there’s a swear word in there too.

I Am A Pre-Existing from Deirdre Ryan on Vimeo.

Thanks everyone! And if you want to be a part of this project, please contact me.

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©2017 Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

Personal Mini Family Vacation to Washington, D.C. Parts 3 and 4

Mount Vernon is a gorgeous place to visit and the last time I was there was with my father and grandparents in the 1990’s. Since then, they’ve built a beautiful education center and museum. And I completely forgot to mention the weather, warm, breezy, but not humid! Very “un-Virginia” for early summertime, just beautiful and perfect! If you don’t know already, Mount Vernon was George and Martha Washington’s estate on the Potomac River. You are not allowed to take any photos inside the main house, but anywhere else you are.

To see the beginning of this mini vacation click here.

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright © Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

P6280526WashingtonDCTrip.jpgDifferent areas has archaeological digs going on, including at the Slave’s Burial site.
P6280537WashingtonDCTrip.jpgWe met a little friend at the original family vault. Can someone identify this lizard?
P6280557WashingtonDCTrip.jpgInside Washington’s Tomb is both George and his wife Martha.
P6280569WashingtonDCTrip.jpgVisiting the Slave Memorial and Burial Grounds.
P6280586WashingtonDCTrip.jpgAfter paying tribute to the Slaves Burial Ground, we walked down to the river and then to Pioneer Farm.
P6280605WashingtonDCTrip.jpgHere, a gentleman demonstrates to the children how to separate the wheat in order to eat it, as an example of what threshing does in the replica of the 16-sided barn designed by Washington for treading wheat.
P6280704WashingtonDCTrip.jpgI asked if I could take his portrait, and he was very happy to let me, his wife is an artist as well.
P6280741WashingtonDCTrip.jpgInside the 16-sided barn.
P6280755WashingtonDCTrip.jpgAn example of a cabin that the Washington’s slave had lived in.
P6280760WashingtonDCTrip.jpgWe took the wooded trail back to the mansion and to meet up with the rest of our family for lunch.
P6280764WashingtonDCTrip.jpgI wanted to wander around a little before eating….
P6280784WashingtonDCTrip.jpgThe buildings were getting repainted while we were there.
P6280789WashingtonDCTrip.jpgAs I was wandering around, I spotted a deer near the estate.
P6280825WashingtonDCTrip.jpgOn the way back to my aunt and uncle’s home, we stopped at Jefferson’s Memorial. I had never been here before and it was on my list for a long time.
P6280861 1WashingtonDCTrip.jpgMy daughter checking out the view.
P6280880WashingtonDCTrip.jpgIt took a while, but after patiently waiting, there was a break in the crowd of people, and I got a shot of President Jefferson’s statue without anyone in it.
P6280884WashingtonDCTrip.jpgAn engagement session, the light was perfect for it.
P6280888WashingtonDCTrip.jpgAcross the river you can see the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument.
P6280899WashingtonDCTrip.jpgCan you guess whose statue is shown below? Tell me in the comments.

We had done a lot of walking that day, but I want to go back, because I felt that I missed on so many things. Taking my daughter there was great because she had been studying the Revolutionary War and seeing everything that day was important to her.

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright © Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

Personal Mini Family Vacation to Washington, D.C. Parts 1 and 2

I’m very lucky to have close family who live in the Washington, D.C. area, growing up we would visit often, and I have been to just about every museum there. But each time I go, there’s always a surprise that I haven’t seen before. Earlier this summer, my mom and I,  took my daughter for the first time and she had some requests on what she wanted to see and loved it.

I didn’t take my Canon gear, just my mirrorless Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, and the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 II lens. Yes, one day I will get some faster glass for it 😉 I did consider renting for this trip, but at the last minute didn’t. These are just personal, travel photo snapshots, I have more to show you in other posts coming up.

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright © Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

When we arrived, we took a little break, then headed out to the Capital to view the monuments at sunset and in the evening lights. The last time I was here at the Vietnam Memorial was to see my father, a Vietnam Vet, in the parade back in November of 1982. He is in the front row for New Jersey(each state had a section in the parade) for helping to lead and contribute to this powerful wall. Many didn’t want this and didn’t like the design.  Each item that is left at the wall is kept safe by the National Park Service. I still can’t find any full length video of the parade from the 1982 dedication. If you’re interested, C-SPAN has the dedication in their archives. If anyone who reads this does have the parade in full, I would love a link to it for my father and others, please leave a comment below.

My dad is right in the middle wearing a long beige coat and has a camera around his neck, on either side of him are two men wearing camo fatigues as he’s in the parade for the Vietnam Memorial Dedication and for all of the men and women who served in the war, they finally got the welcome home they deserved.  But there was still a long way to go at the time, and to this day. 

That’s me in the blue sweater holding my cousin’s hand with my Grandma Martin at the Vietnam Memorial for the first time, I think I’m around 8-9 years old.Here I am with my Grandma and Grandpa Martin, holding my cousin’s hand. I was also biting my nails, and it looks like grandma had something in her eye. The Washington Monument is behind us. And yes, I’m wearing saddle shoes, I was really into them at the time, I loved those things 🙂 I’m not sure who took these photos, my Uncle Bob and my Grandpa Martin, or my mom. We had a lot of cameras as you can see. Grandpa Martin also shot a lot of Kodachrome, so one of these days I would love to see what he captured,  I have his cameras as part of my collection. The watermark is there to “hopefully” deter people, no matter who shot these pictures.
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These images shot at night were all handheld.MiniFamilyVacationWashintgonDC

MiniFamilyVacationWashintgonDCOur daughter is really into spies and mysteries, so the International Spy Museum was at the top of her list.

MiniFamilyVacationWashintgonDCThey have a really cool James Bond 007 exhibit, I didn’t post everything, so that I won’t spoil it for you. But I couldn’t help but post Jaw’s teeth!
MiniFamilyVacationWashintgonDCOh and this mask, can you guess which James Bond film it’s from? Tell me in the comments below 🙂
MiniFamilyVacationWashintgonDCAfter the spy museum, The National Portrait Gallery is right across the street, so we ate some lunch and went there. I haven’t been inside since I was a little girl, the courtyard didn’t have the roof overtop of it back then.
MiniFamilyVacationWashintgonDCFirst, the Hall of Presidents, this is a Chuck Close portrait of President Bill Clinton.
MiniFamilyVacationWashintgonDCThen we wandered around, taking in as much as we could.
MiniFamilyVacationWashintgonDCOne of the current exhibits is called The Face of Battle: Americans At War, 9/11 to Now. It had different sections, and then this one had mini hand drawn portraits by Emily Price, called: American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (But Not Including the Wounded, Nor the Iraqis nor the Afghanis).  A young man named Benjamin Moore came home far too soon, to our town. I photographed what was going on, also that horrible cult that goes to military funerals, were threatening to show up, and I heard that they did at the cemetery, but later left. I decided to see if he was on this wall and sure enough, Ben was there. I’m friends with his family and friends, sadly, I never got to know him. But from the stories, he was an exceptional young man.

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright © Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

Notre Dame High School’s Class of 1967 50th Reunion

I loved high school for a bunch of reasons, but for me it was a fresh start. Yes I struggled with certain subjects, math being the main one, and today I still have a difficult time with it. But Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville, NJ was my mother’s and her brother’s school. She was the Class of 1967, he was the Class of 1969, and I was the Class of 1991. I made new friends, I worked hard, and had a lot of fun.

So my mother was on the decorating committee for her Golden Year Reunion, of our Notre Dame Family. Then the next day they escorted the Class of 2017 as they graduated from NDHS. The committee looked at other photographers and then I was hired to photograph their once in a lifetime event at the Mercer Oaks Country Club. I’ve shot a quite a few events there before, so I’m very familiar with this venue. A bonus that evening was the woman supervising, was in the wedding party one of my last weddings I photographed last year. I got their early with my mom, who had to help set everything up. You couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather. I already knew where I wanted to shoot this large and very important group picture of all the alumni. The flowers were done by Petal Pushers, the owner is also a NDHS Alumni and also my neighbor. The live band was The Meg Hanson Group, with Billy Hill.

All photographs appearing on this site are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

180_IMG_9019 1_NDHS1967.jpgHere is the Class of 1967, those that could make it to this event. The evening sky was just beautiful!
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190_IMG_9037 1_NDHS1967.jpgThey presented a check of $1,000 our school.
192_IMG_9045_NDHS1967.jpgThe ladies of the committee.
199_IMG_3995_NDHS1967.jpgAfter the large group photo and presentation of the check, we came inside for a few guest speakers, and a prayer before eating.
235_IMG_4067_NDHS1967-1.jpgThey honored their Vets and those no longer here.
264_IMG_9073_NDHS1967.jpgThe Class of 1967 has the most student who have passed away from either the Vietnam War, accident, sickness or cancer in our high school’s history to this date still. My mother’s yearbook has so many notes next to classmates pictures that say died or passed away, a fifty-something kids…
289_IMG_9101_NDHS1967.jpgThe band started to play and hardly anyone stayed in their seats. Remember, this class had the year of incredible music.

Links to music is courtesy of http://www.musicoutfitters.com/topsongs/1967.htm :
Ode to Billie Joe – Bobby Gentry
I’m a Believer – The Monkees
Light My Fire – The Doors
Happy Together – The Turtles
Groovin’ – The Young Rascals
Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Frankie Valli

326_IMG_9150_NDHS1967.jpgYes, that’s me dancing with my mom LOL I’m so glad that she had a great time.
I Think We’re Alone Now – Tommy James and The Shondells
Respect – Aretha Franklin I Was Made to Love Her – Stevie Wonder
Come Back When You Grow Up – Bobby Vee and The Strangers
Soul Man – Sam and Dave
351_IMG_9181_NDHS1967.jpg Incense and Peppermint – Strawberry Alarm Clock
Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones
It Must Be Him – Vicki Carr
Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone – The Supremes
For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
Your Precious Love – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane
Get On Up – The Esquires
Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
Jimmy Mack – Martha and The Vandellas
A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum

They held a raffle…
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And then suddenly all of the Catholic grade school classmates wanted group photos. These schools aren’t around anymore so I waited around for everyone to come to where I was so that the photos could be taken. 478_IMG_9346_NDHS1967.jpg 483_IMG_9356_NDHS1967.jpg 481_IMG_9354_NDHS1967.jpg 490_IMG_9366_NDHS1967.jpg

497_IMG_9375_NDHS1967.jpg 519_IMG_9404_NDHS1967.jpgThe band was rocking and awesome! I actually know the lead singer, he actually knows my good friend Phil, a fellow photographer and musician.

Reflections – Diana Ross and The Supremes
Please Love Me Forever – Bobby Vinton
San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair) – Scott Mckenzie
This Is My Song – Petula Clark
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher & Higher – Jackie Wilson
I’ve Been Lonely Too Long – The Young Rascals
Penny Lane – The Beatles
525_IMG_9411_NDHS1967.jpg You’re My Everything – The Temptations
Dedicated to the One I Love – The Mama’s and The Papa’s


How Can I Be Sure – The Young Rascals
Friday On My Mind – The Easy Beats
Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Spencer Davis Group

672_IMG_9610_NDHS1967-1.jpgYou can’t have a party like this without a conga line 🙂

Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out) – The Hombres
Let’s Live for Today – The Grass Roots
Groovin’ – Booker T and The MG’s
Funky Broadway – Wilson Pickett
Pleasant Valley Sunday – The Monkees
I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) – Aretha Franklin

Cold Sweat, Pt. 2 – James Brown and The Famous Flames

Here We Go Again – Ray Charles
White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
Bernadette – The Four Tops
The Beat Goes On – Sonny and Cher
Snoopy vs. The Red Baron – The Royal Guardsmen
Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking) – Janis Ian
Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon – Neil Diamond
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell

I Dig Rock and Roll Music – Peter, Paul and Mary
Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Baby, I Need Your Lovin’ – Johnny Rivers
Mirage – Tommy James and The Shondells
Green Green Grass of Home – Tom Jones
I Can See for Miles – The Who740_IMG_9711_NDHS1967.jpg

Here at last is the Notre Dame High School Class of 1967 Alumni Committee, they put on a fabulous night for everyone. Thank you for letting me a part of this evening, I had a blast!

An Evening With The Jewish Federation Of New Jersey

The Main Event is a huge fundraising event for The Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey  and it was held at the Grand Marquis in Old Bridge, NJ.

Their mission as quoted from their website:

Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey adds value by providing the leadership necessary to create a strong, collaborative, caring and vibrant Jewish community in northern New Jersey, Israel and abroad.

They have programs to help seniors, the youth, families, Holocaust survivors, those with special needs, advocacy, Synagogue resources and so much more. They had a silent auction, food, an awards ceremony and the guest speaker was Leigh Anne Tuohy. You may have remembered a film called The Blind Side? It was based on her family’s story of adopting an African American boy and how he rose up to play football with a scholarship to University of Mississippi and win the Superbowl with the Baltimore Ravens.


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I love this, and no she wasn’t mad, she was laughing afterwards LOL!

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IMG_0392The Jewish Federation Main Event.jpgSometimes someone else gets in the picture LOL!
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Here is the wonderful and inspiring Leigh Anne Tuohy.

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I had a lot of fun, I mean, when do I not? I get to meet great people, make new friends and learn about causes that I haven’t heard of at times. Everyone was so gracious and lovely. I had my laptop with me, so after it ended, they needed some shots for their social media promotions. Then since I was literally up in my husband’s old neighborhood, I went to White Castle for a late evening snack and brought him home some too.

Thanks everyone for hiring me to be your photographer!

Environmental Portraits With DES Home Renovations

Stephen and I connected via an online networking group on Facebook and together we collaborated with an idea that he needed very quickly that represented how he wanted his clients to see him and his business online. You see Stephen is a contractor and a man of many talents and also a father and husband. He works very hard like all businesses do and expects the very best for his clients. I was really impressed with his website and the work his company has done.

DES Home Renovations

We met on a Sunday at the building where his office is located. It has so many incredible areas to photograph inside and out because it used to be an old leather factory right here in the Trenton area of New Jersey. Now it’s being converted to gorgeous loft and studio style office spaces. Honestly I could’ve stayed and shot there all day long.

As always, I overpacked, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I brought my Dynalites but we were moving around a lot so I decided to use my Canon RX ET 600 wireless flashes with Westcott and Photek light modifiers. Normally I shoot tethered as well, but I didn’t want to be hindered with more cables than necessary. I did have my husband/business partner assisting me, but once I got there and Stephen started to show me around, I knew that having my camera tether to my Macbook wasn’t going to work that day. I used my Canon Mark 5D III and just 2 lenses, the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 non-IS L and the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L. Stephen put on some music with his cell phone because mine was having a hard time getting a signal and then the fun began.

ProfessionalAfricanAmericanBusinessmanOrangeBlazer- 1DESHomeRenovations.jpgStephen was a natural in front of my camera, while I did give him direction and coaching, these favorites of mine and his, are all him. We started off in the orange and white striped hallway, then the stairwell, and after that, we wanted to get one more area. We walked into an unfinished area, he turned a corner inside of it and this amazing room appeared. Raw, still under construction like the rest, but just beautiful and perfect to represent him and what he does.
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IMG_0829DESHomeRenovations.jpgHis brother came by and wanted a quick shot so I did one for him too.

We had a lot of fun and I’m very happy with what we were able to accomplish. Thanks again Stephen!

I would love to hear what you have to say, leave a comment below. Stay up to date by signing up for my newsletters, if you’re interested in what I do, please contact me for your next project. Thanks!


The River Towns Photo Project

Back in February,  I got a slew of Facebook private messages and emails from my friends, regarding a project that was in the newspaper and online.

Photographers Wanted For Delaware River Towns Project

“The intent of the Earth Day Weekend-long photo shoot being held April 22 and 23 is to capture the unique character of the towns that border both sides of the Delaware River from Riegelsville in Pennsylvania to Lambertville, according to a news release.
Photographers are free to roam and shoot anywhere within the boroughs boundaries in Riegelsville, Milford, Frenchtown, Stockton, Lambertville and New Hope, Pa.”CRAIG TURPIN

I took a look and thought, okay sounds like fun and I sort of forgot about it. But those emails kept coming, so I thought well, why not? So I asked the person in charge, who is another photographer named Bill Brokaw, and decided to go for it.

When I do these type of excursions, I like to pack as light as possible. I dress in layers, bring only one camera, one lens, 2 cards, an extra battery, sunblock, a reusable water bottle, snacks, good hiking shoes(I love Salomon trail running sneakers that are waterproof), my cell phone, solar powered charger, wear a hat(for some reason I didn’t bring one that day), my Nook Glowlight eReader, and other small essentials that fit in my Think Tank Modular Belt system. I have the belt and all of these attaches to it, Hubba HineyR U Hot bottle holder, I have the older version of the Speed Changer. That day, I only brought my Canon 6D and the Canon EF 16-35mm 2.8 L lens, this camera combination is much lighter than if I had my Canon 5D Mark III.

The first day of Earth Day Weekend, it was pouring, and I mean torrential all day. I decided to stay home, but the next day, Sunday was perfect. My husband and daughter had stuff to do at home, so I took a drive on the Pennsy side up to New Hope. It was packed with people because the day was so beautiful. So I crossed the bridge to Lambertville and kept going up north along the river. I wasn’t sure how far I wanted to go, so I just kept driving, seeing what was around. Living where I do, I know the area pretty well, but further up not as much. Around Stockton, I got a little hungry and saw that the Delaware Canal Towpath and town wasn’t overrun by tourists. I got a sandwich at a local deli, sat on a bench underneath a tree and just enjoyed my surroundings.

Afterwards, I started wandering around looking. I didn’t take any photos yet, I just wanted to get the feel of the area first. Then I found the direction of the towpath that felt right, and I walked.  There were families on bikes, people walking their dogs, the path was even, not bad. It got pretty warm, so I was really glad that I had my water with me. Then I found what I was looking for, I mean I didn’t know it until I came upon it. My process started by taking some shots from the bridge, and then I looked to see if I can get closer to the water in the canal. Yep, there was a way.

Selfie by Deirdre Ryan Photography iPhone SE

Took a few shots, really loved the light, and I felt like I could stay there the rest of the day and read with snacks.

I honestly felt like I got The Shot, but since I came up all that way, why not explore?

I decided to cross the Delaware River using Centre Bridge. It has quite a history, here’s a quote directly from Wikipedia:

“For many years, the route was called Old York Road, as it was the principal route from Philadelphia to New York City. Originally, the Centre Bridge–Stockton Bridge was a covered toll bridge of wood construction was located at the former site of Reading’s Ferry. First built in 1814 as a covered bridge with six spans and a total length of 821 feet built under contract by Capt. Pelig Kingsley and Benjamin Lord. The construction was faulty and the contractors were penalized $1,200. One of the piers soon gave way and had to be rebuilt.
In 1830, the entire bridge was reconstructed by a contractor Amos Campbell, the father of Henry Roe Campbell.  At that time the Raritan feeder on the New Jersey side, and the Delaware Division canal on the Pennsylvania side had not been dug. At first, the canal companies built and maintained the bridges over their respective ditches.
The flood of January 8, 1841, carried away three spans, two piers and the stone toll-house all on the New Jersey side. It was only one of many bridges between Easton, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, that was destroyed in the flood. However, the Centre Bridge–Stockton Bridge was rebuilt well enough to be one of the few bridges not washed away by the flood of October 10, 1903.
In 1923, the bridge was twice damaged by fire and then on July 22, 1923, lightning struck the bridge and the resulting fire totally destroyed the structure.
For two years after the disaster, the Centre Bridge–Stockton Bridge saw no repairs. Eventually, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission gained control of the remnants of the bridge, and began rebuilding upon the same piers and abutments on which the first bridge had stood. Having been built higher than before, it escaped damage in the flood of 1955, which damaged many other bridges along the Delaware River. The current steel truss bridge was completed in 1926 and opened to traffic in 1927.”

These bridges are up and down the river, and have a walkway either on the left or right side for pedestrians. Bikes are allowed, but you have to walk to over. It was really cool being on it while cars, motorcycles and some small trucks drove by. The thing shakes and vibrates, but I’m not afraid of these things.

Selfie by Deirdre Ryan Photography iPhone SE.

Once across I was in Solesbury Township, PA. The Delaware Canal and Towpath are are both sides of the river. Here is an example of a barge and underneath the bridge that connects to Centre Bridge you see the nest of Cliff Swallows. I played around in editing to see what certain images looked like in both colour and in black and white.

I had some ice cream at a place that’s right on the other side of these buildings. They also serve hamburgers, hotdogs and other delicious meals.

Once again, I made my way down to the water and large boulders, or cement blocks. It was here that I also focused on the garbage that collects along the shore. Living on the Delaware River in Bordentown, we have the same problem. I did quite a bit of climbing up and down that day.

This is part of the towpath in PA in the other direction. Notice that the time of the day I’m in full sun and it’s right above me just about?

Selfie by Deirdre Ryan Photography iPhone SE.

I really like the above image in black and white.  After returning to Stockton, NJ, and was crossing the bridge, I saw some colour and went to explore.

The final image that I put in the show was the first one, which is my favorite next to the black and white of the motorcyclists crossing the bridge.

Photos Showcase What Make Delaware River Towns Unique

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to either showings, the one in Frenchtown or in Lambertville. Previously scheduled events and family obligations made it difficult. It wasn’t the first time that I’ve had work up in a show, and it won’t be my last. The two images below, you can see my image on the top row, in between what looks like two different viewpoints of the same red and beige buildings.

Photo by Carol Manger

Photo by Bill Brokaw

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to do this, I had a lot of fun!

All photographs appearing on this site with the exception of those given photo credit to, are the property of Deirdre Ryan Photography. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the written permission of Deirdre Ryan Photography. Copyright ©Deirdre Ryan All Rights Reserved.

An Intimate Evening With Local Band The Successful Failures

The Successful Failures are lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Mick Chorba, Rob Martin on drums, lead guitarist Pete Smith and Ron Bechamps on bass. They’re a local Indie-Rock, Americana singer-songwriter, rock-n-roll band based in Chesterfield, NJ with quite a large following.  We met about a year or so ago when they opened for Men Without Hats. I was a guest in the audience taking photos of the bands and they liked the photos that I took of them.

Since then, we’ve been in touch, then we came together this past January and I photographed them for their upcoming new album. I’m not going to share those images yet until the artwork is finalized. However I’m very excited, because not only are they an incredible band, they are super nice. We have the same interests, and sense of humor. I love seeing these guys live and wish that I can do so more often.

They played at Randy’s Man Cave recently amongst musical greats encased forever both in vinyl and CD. With this as their background, the audience was a mixture of fans, family and friends, I have to say that this was one of the best live performances I have ever seen. And not because they played some songs of my favorite band, The Beatles, either 😉

I love musicians, and to photograph them live, is a rush, because deep down inside I think part of me wants to be onstage too.


Below is the video from that night featuring my photos, and yes, I do get credit on YouTube 🙂 Thanks guys, it looks great!

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Here’s Mike Devito, of the School of Rock All Star Band. He’s going to be touring with The School Of Rock All Star Band at Lollapalooza this summer. Mike came up and did an original jam with a birthday related improvisational. It was pretty awesome!IMG_7063The_Successful_Failures_Randy_Nows_Mancave.jpg IMG_6638The_Successful_Failures_Randy_Nows_Mancave 1.jpg

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I like to call this image, “Changing of the Guards”.

As Ron was playing it looked like he was also “browsing” the records to see what he wanted to buy later LOL

They ended the evening with their version of John Denver’s Country Road, and invited everyone to sing along as loud as they could. And yes…I did just that because I love that song.

Below are videos from Commish TV, I highly recommend that you subscribe to their channel.  You can see me sitting on the floor taking pictures and sitting on the chair to the left, my foot “tapping” to the beat. I do my very best not to get in the way of other people who are there to enjoy performances. There was another video crew there, and the space was small. However everyone was very nice and seemed to understand our purpose.

I’d like thank The Successful Failures and Randy for allowing me to be there as always. The band has a YouTube Channel and are on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  You can purchase their albums on iTunes and Amazon. Like I mentioned earlier, they are going to release a new album soon, so subscribe to their newsletter on their website and follow them on social media.

And, be sure to follow me here on my blog, subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Instagram and Facebook.  If you’re a record label, band promoter, musician or in a band looking for a photographer, contact me.