“What’s something ridiculous that I can do that will make me laugh?”
That’s the first question Ryan J. Lane asks himself when he goes to make a silly portrait. A lot of the time it involves putting on a funny wig and a pair of oversized glasses.
The Washington based stock photographer got his start back in 2007, kind of by accident.
“I’ve always enjoyed creativity and I had some friends who were dabbling in stock photography when I was finishing up college,” he says. “I started doing it for fun and to see what would happen. It was probably about two years in that I realized that I could quit my day job and do stock photos full time.”
These days Lane spends a lot more time shooting traditional lifestyle photos—kids eating ice cream, happy people enjoying outdoor activities, couples drinking coffee—but his humorous portraits still hold a special place and are how he got his start.
“Early on I did what made me laugh,” he says. “I would just get a quirky idea in my head and I wasn’t even thinking will this sell or not. I think the best art comes from that place.”
A lot of the earliest pictures are actually self-portraits. “It was just easier to work with myself rather than finding a model,” he says.
Many of the characters Lane creates are inspired by props and clothing found in thrift stores. The wood panelling that appears as a backdrop in many of the images was something that he found on the side of the road in a dump pile. He often uses Craigslist to find the furniture for his scenes.
“My basement is kind of turning into my own little thrift store,” he says. “My kids love it,”
See more of Lane’s work on his website.