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My name is Holli True and I am a High School Senior Portrait Photographer based in Eugene, Oregon.  I love nothing more than sharing my passion and heart for working with teen girls.  This is what inspired me to become an industry educator and why I created the Evoke Senior Photography Workshop!





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::Be Inspired:: An Interview with Gabriel Ryan

July 5, 2011

Hello readers!  :)  I hope all of you had an amazing 4th of July with the ones you love!  I spent my holiday at my grandma’s house with family, which was absolutely perfect.  Sunshine, BBQ, games, fireworks…  So much fun!  Today I still feel exhausted- how about you?  I’d love to hear about how you spent your holiday weekend- tell me all about it!

When we were in Vegas this past February at WPPI, on a fateful elevator ride, I met Gabriel and his beautiful wife, Carlie.  We were leaving an awesome Showit meet-up with the beautiful Promise Tangeman.  I had seen pictures of them years ago from their wedding on Jasmine Star’s blog and I instantly adored them!  They’ve decorated the wall of Jasmine’s blog numerous times since then, always looking adorable and fashionable.  :)  I have been a fan of Gabriel’s photography for a several years now, so I am so excited to share his interview with all of you today!  Gabriel & Carlie, it was so great to meet you!  I look forward to connecting with you both more and hope we can find time to hang out at WPPI next year, if not sooner!  Thank you so much for the amazing interview and welcome to the Be Inspired family!

My name is Gabriel Ryan Davis and I am wild at heart.

What are 3 things we should know about you?
1. I know the first and last word of the movie Top Gun, not to mention the fact that I can quote most of the movie on cue.
2. When I decided not to return to college after completing my freshman year, I was inspired by an article in a snowboarding magazine and thus ended up moving to Colorado for four years on a whim.
3. I’ve worked as a shoe salesman, a snowboard coach, a private investigator and pretty much everything in between. My four years as a wedding photographer is the longest consecutive span of time I have ever spent in a single career.

Define your style in 5 words:
Detail-inspired, editorial, story-telling

What is your specialty?
Weddings… that’s it.

What inspires your work?
Our clients inspire our work. Their marriage inspires us.

Having been married just 4 years I can tell you that marriage is wonderful and marriage is hard. It might seem over-zealous, but I like to think that my photographs might save a marriage in distress. The stats tell us that 50% of our clients will divorce, and my hope is that my photographs might play a small part in reminding them of a place where they know they are loved… that they might look at their wedding photos during a tough season in their relationship and remember the truth; that they love each other no matter what.

Where is your dream location to do a shoot or wedding?
My own backyard.

Traveling to shoot destination weddings is sexy, and I surely enjoy it every once in a while. But, I would much prefer shooting all of our weddings in south Orange County, and then simply go on vacation with my family when I want to travel.

Divulge one of your dreams for your business:
I would love love LOVE… seriously LOVE… to purchase an old Airstream trailer and convert it into a modern & mobile photo studio.

What do you love most about being a photographer?
The people it has brought into my life. If I could pay the bills from simply sharing conversation over lunch, or coffee, or beer, I would. I long to be in community with real people.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
34 years old.

Seriously though, I try not to be too specific about where I feel I should be in the future. I believe in hard work. I believe in getting clear about your vision. But I don’t believe in setting goals longer than a few months out. Life changes too fast, and I want to stay open to God’s call in my life. By not setting those kinds of goals, I feel more free to live in the now.

As a fellow Showiteer, what do you love about Showit?
I love the freedom I have with Showit to adapt to the vision I have for our business. As an example, one of our core values as a boutique wedding photography studio is to provide a remarkable experience to our clients. Simply put, we aim to do things for our clients worth remarking about and then make it easy for them to remark about them. Showit gives us the ability to create unique yet scalable websites for our clients, where they can view, download and share their photos. With Showit we not only add value to the lives of our clients but we make it easy for our clients to share our business with the people they know.

If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be & why?
I would love to meet a married couple in their 60’s that have built the marriage and lived the kind of life I would be proud of. I don’t think there is anything more powerful in moving you towards your idea of success than finding someone who is where you want to be and then get as close to them as possible.

What advice do you have for new photographers?
I will give you the same advice I was given on day one… plus a bonus. 1 – take 100,000 photos in the next 365 days. 2 – read “The eMyth Revisited” by Michael Gerber. BONUS – make sure you are uber clear on the answer to the following two questions before you invest the blood, sweat and tears it will take you to become either or both: [1] Do I truly want to be a photographer in all that it requires of me? [2] Do I truly want to be a business owner in all that it requires of me? [hint: there is no wrong answer or combination of answers to those two questions]

Wow, Gabriel, you and Carlie are both very inspiring! Like you, I long to be a community of real people who want to help, support and simply just love each other. :) You are amazing and you have a gorgeous family! :) Thank you, again, for sharing so much of yourself openly here!

Be sure to follow Gabriel:






  1. Christina Dely

    July 5th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I was incredibly excited to see this post Holli! Gabriel Ryan is one of my favorite photographers! I love her words of wisdom, definitely going to aim to hit that 100,000 image mark!

  2. Mary Marantz

    July 5th, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Love these guys!! What a real and relatable interview! With awesome answers throughout!

  3. Ann Keen

    July 5th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Great Interview. I only just recently learned about Gabriel and Carlie, and I feel I have known them for years. I I too long to be in a community of real people. I would love the opportunity to sit for coffee with them and you!

  4. Laura

    July 6th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I love his outlook on photography and life! Awesome interview, I’m going to be following him from now on! :) Thanks Holli!

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