About Ryan / Shotison

Shotison Media was founded by Ryan Whitwell towards the end of 2015. Beginning as a simple hobby based around shooting live bands, Ryan gradually added crafted photoshoots, advancements in editing and written reviews to his skillset.

Ryan’s aim has always been to promote the rock, metal and other alternative communities through words and images as the subcultures continue to grow. By working with bands and artists to create visual media to increase engagement with their fans, Ryan has helped many musicians and models add to their visual marketing options with professional and compelling imagery.

This clarity of vision has allowed Ryan and Shotison to build a reasonable following, with alternative artists, models and musicians choosing Shotison Media for various photographic materials due to Ryan’s reputation for having a good work ethic, a positive attitude and a clear enthusiasm for photography and music.

Shotison Media is the official photographer for London’s Bloodstock Metal 2 the Masses competition and has had work appear in Devolution Magazine, Heatwave Magazine, Metal-Rules.com, TheIndependentVoice.org and Moshville.com, as well as various band merchandise and promotional material.


"Amazing photographer, dedicated to the live music scene with an enormous passion which shows in every photograph. Keep up the awesome work Ryan!"

Allan (Purple Kong)

"Took some absolutely wonderful pictures of our band Nuffin’ last March at the Dublin Castle."

Chris (Nuffin)

Woo! New blog! As this is the first post I figured it would be a good idea to write a quick introduction and a bit of history as to how I started shooting and where I'm at now.

Ryan, 34, London, England. I have been photographing all sorts of things for years but have only pursued it as a genuine hobby/side hustle since 2015 when I decided to combine my existing love of live music and my developing interest in photography by setting out to shoot live gigs.

shotison old logoAs I have a history in graphic design, marketing and stuff like that, I wanted to create a brand that had a bit more going on than just "[My Name] Photography". The word "Shotison" doesn't really mean anything as it's just three words, "shot is on", squashed together and, a bit randomly, came about from listening to football (soccer) commentary. I ended up picking that idea for a name because it seems to be a pretty unique word. The only other examples of it I have seen are a few people with it as a name, but those people seem to be from parts of Asia, so even then the name isn't often written in western characters which makes an online presence (like this web domain, various social media handles, google searches) quite easy to obtain and is short enough that it doesn't eat up all the space in a tweet before anyone has written anything.Shotison Music Logo

That's enough about branding. This journey began shooting live bands in a few places for fun, then shooting live bands and other kinds of events more regularly. Lots of practice meant the live music stuff started to get better and I had the confidence to start reaching out and shooting bigger shows with press passes for publications like Moshville Times, Metal-Rules.com and The Independent Voice. I also have an SB600 flash, that I still use even now as it's a great little light when needing a bit of a kick in some of the venues I frequent. (I'll do another post about my photo gear in the future)

Leake Street 2017 001
From my first model shooting experience in 2017

Shooting models and bands (offstage), seemed to get kick-started by chance. A few years ago I was in Leake Street tunnel, my girlfriend at the time was practising spray painting so I had a wander with my camera and found a group of togs and models shooting and posing. I asked around and it turned out it was an Instagram based meet-up in which a bunch of models and togs got together for some shooting. I joined in for a bit and shot a couple of models with my little SB600 speedlight providing some off-camera flash (utilising Nikon's CLS) and that hour or so of shooting models was the indication that I could, if I applied myself, take photography from live shows to crafted shoots.

Lots of confidence-boosting stuff, which lead me into shooting band portraits and promo shots, investing time and money with more lighting options and then getting some networking going on to get models in front of the lens.

A few years later and I'm shooting more bands and models than ever, and I'm making some other plans involving personal art projects (more on that another time),  which is all very exciting. I'll be writing blog posts as regularly as possible, so follow me on the usual social media places: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to keep in the loop when new posts go up!

-Ryan Shotison


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