Light is synonymous with inspiration. When you illuminate a subject, you discover their hidden contours and celebrate their secrets. Heck, even cartoons depict a great idea with the sudden appearance of a light bulb over the character’s head.
Ryan Duffin is the emcee of enlightenment. His photography bends photons until they blanket his models with a rapturous shimmer. Duffin’s mission is as ambitious as it is direct: to “make them look like pop stars, even if they aren’t already.”
In an interview with It’s Nice That, Duffin brings his process out of the closet and into the glorious ultraviolet. “There’s this magic spot where the sunlight bounces off of the surrounding glass building and hits people from all sides, making them appear to have an ethereal glow.”
One recipient of the dazzling Duffin treatment was Emmy-winner Dan Levy. The playful shutterbug conjured denim realness from the Schitt’s Creek icon in a shoot for Out magazine.
Levy and Duffin are fellow Canadians, but the latter now calls New York City home. Ryan Duffin has showcased his work in various Big Apple venues, most recently at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.
But being part of the LGBTQ+ community doesn’t define Duffin’s style. In fact, he actively avoids limiting his perspective based solely on his sexuality.
“I am drawn to capture the subtle individuality within each subject,” beams Duffin. “As a queer person, it would be against the definition of queerness to look for recurring signifiers from those that I photograph; rather, I look to capture the subtle nuances of each subject that makes them individual, interesting and unique.”
Through Duffin’s lens, the future appears limitlessly luminous. From blazing the campaign trail with Pete Buttigieg to commercial triumphs to landscape solitude, possibility resonates on the horizon. We can’t wait to see what the next sunrise brings.
Last modified: May 10, 2021