Interview With Gratisography Founder Ryan McGuire

You’ve seen this guys photos everywhere, they’re so damn unique. In this post we get some time with the man behind the Gratisography. Founder, director, photographer, designer, developer and all round creative genius Ryan McGuire tells us what’s up. Enjoy folks.

Tell us how Gratisography came to be?

As a designer and web developer, I’m continuously learning to improve my skills. I love tutorials and some are so detailed that you can learn more from a single blog post than an entire college course. Lots of these tutorials are free and shared by passionate creatives. These creatives spend a massive amount of time on these resources and ask for nothing in return. I decided to create Gratisography to give back to the creative community that has taught and supported me so much over the years. We can’t all just take these free resources without giving back something and the most useful thing I had to offer to the community was my pictures.

The images on Gratisography are very unique, who directs and shoots them?

I’m the sole director, photographer, and editor of all the images on Gratisography. It takes a tonne of time, planning, and expense to produce my images, but I have so much fun trying to recreate my imagination that it is worth it. I’ve always been a little silly and it’s great to be able to share some of my humour with the world through my pictures.

What do you love the most about photography?

I love being able to capture and create moments that would have been lost or overlooked without a camera. Taking pictures of nature and common subjects is fine on occasion, but these pictures can be captured by anyone and at any time. When I go out shooting I try to photograph absurd situations, abstract perspectives, and whimsical characters that challenge the norm of traditional photography and produces a truly unique piece of art.

Is there a formal structure for your creative process?

My creative process starts with assessing an idea with lots of planning, research, and passion. Once I have a solid game plan established I fully immerse myself in the project until it’s complete. I like to get things done so I avoid procrastination as best I can.

On what project are you currently working on?

My latest project is called Color Lisa ( It’s a curated color palette resource based on the work of the world’s greatest artists. As a designer color plays a huge role in my work and for inspiration I usually explore the color combinations used by famous artists like Rembrandt, da Vinci, and Warhol. These are the masters of color and when you are able to incorporate their palettes in your designs it not only looks great, but it provides a fun backstory.

Name three tools that you use in your day to day routine?

The three main tools in my creative arsenal I use on a daily basis are Photoshop, Sublime Text, and my Canon 5D III with a 35mm 1.4 lens.

Who were some of your most significant mentors?

It might be cliché, but my parents are my most significant mentors. They taught me the importance of hard work and respect. How to speak up and be heard. They were always supportive of my ideas and projects and never restricted my creative process. Their enthusiasm helped build my confidence and eliminated my fears of trying new things.

What do you enjoy the most about your career?

Being able to use my creativity to help my customers succeed is what I enjoy most about my career. I’m privileged to be able to work with such a diverse group of people and earning their trust and respect is what motivates me to keep developing my skills and pushing the boundaries of each project.

Tea or coffee?

I’m a little obsessed with coffee. I roast my own beans and brew three cups each morning in a Chemex. I started roasting coffee in a popcorn popper about 15 years ago, but I’ve since I upgraded to an industrial 1lb batch roaster. There is nothing quite like a cup of coffee from fresh roasted beans.