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)

Upon its creation, I intended this blog to be all fluffy, fun, "look at the cool things I'm doing" kind of stuff. Super positive and all that. Obviously, there's a bit of a thing going on that is putting plenty of spanners in all kinds of works, so I will instead make a post with a more serious tone, but it's still positive, so not much of a departure from the original goal.

I was inspired a few months ago by a video from a favourite YouTube creator of mine, Sean Tucker. He made a video detailing how protecting the highlights is important in photography and twinned that idea with how we should approach life. If you're familiar with photography, protecting the highlights is literally about controlling exposure so you don't have a blown-out highlight that you can't fix. But Sean goes on to a more philosophical interpretation in which he uses the term as a way of saying that we should take care of the good memories, the positives in life, the highlights. It's important to realise that there is good when things seem to be quite the opposite, and it's important to recognise and preserve those good moments.

There is a second part to this philosophy, which is to respect the shadows. Again, photo stuff, recovering shadows, creating/reducing contrast, etc. But it's, of course, referring to how dark times are something we shouldn't simply ignore, but should look at in another way that has a positive spin.

Dark times are something our brains are wired to focus on, we have evolved to learn from our mistakes and so our mind and memories will give those mistakes a higher ranking when trying to figure a way out of a bad situation, creating an endless cycle of negative thoughts that can be one overwhelming. It's impossible to block those memories out, and in my experience, you should not try to ignore those memories. Attempting to shut them out is not healthy, and to allow them to overtake us is also not a good thing. Personally, I find that to respect those memories, realising that I have gotten over bad times before, I learned from our mistakes is the best thing to focus on when things aren't going my way. Usually, for me it's financial issues that trigger a cycle of negative thoughts, as the related stress and self-pity from bad financial choices swim around my mind. So in light of current events, I would urge others to keep preserving the highlights, however small they may be, and if darkness creeps in, acknowledge it, realise why it's there, that you have gotten past before and will again, and go back to those highlights.

I do have some highlights in the distance that I'm focussing on right now, but that's for another day. For now, wash your hands, look out for each other and only take what you need.

Check out Sean Tucker's video here:


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