Once in a while, an opportunity comes along to use what abilities I have for something greater. This past summer, I spent whirlwind week in Togo, West Africa, after an organization called the Chalmers Center asked me to come along to capture what they’re doing there.  Chalmers works with local churches in economic development, working to heal the broken relationships that are at poverty’s root, and empowering people in community to help meet each other’s physical and spiritual needs.  They had seen the images I took in Uganda a few years ago, and so I accompanied a few journalists and other people who were interested in the Chalmers Center’s work, trying to tell the stories of ordinary people taking part in God’s redemptive work, and doing extraordinary things.

I haven’t posted any images from the trip yet as I didn’t want to take away any impact from the publications that may wish to use them in their stories.  But I’m posting a few now because an article featuring some of these images was just published in the Winter 2014 issue of By Faith, a magazine from the Presbyterian Church in America.

I’m excited about this, since it’s the kind of work I’d love to do more of. Anyone interested in how and why the Chalmers Center does what they do can read more in the fantastic book, When Helping Hurts.

I’m posting just a few of my favorite images that appeared in the story. There are so many more I’d love to share, perhaps at some point in the future. I’m not posting the whole article here either, but if you’d like to read it, I’ll be glad to send it to anyone who asks.


Chalmers Vision Trip to Togo, 2014
Chalmers Vision Trip to Togo, 2014
Chalmers Vision Trip to Togo, 2014
Chalmers Vision Trip to Togo, 2014

Pete Malone

These are fantastic Ryan. Nice work.

Sarah Watkins McCall

So glad you had this experience! So much better than some Bridizza, eh?

Lindsay Musser

I loooooooooove the Chalmers Center!!!!! How did they find you?

Alayna K. Mock

Beautiful! And what a fabulous organization.

Al Ricardo Jurina

It’s funny, because we actually subscribe to this magazine, and I thought: “now this is some pretty good photojournalism”. Now it makes sense. LOL!

Colleen and Matt just welcomed their baby boy into the world, and I’m looking forward to sharing those at some point too… but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We met up for some  maternity pictures at U. Penn in August. Here are some of my favorites!

u.penn maternity pictures
colleen and matt maternity portraits
philadelphia maternity pictures
maternity photography
maternity pictures
maternity pictures
pennsylvania maternity photographer

Sometimes things fall together: a beautiful park (French Creek if you’re wondering), a great family, a picture-perfect evening, a ton of love. Here are some favorites from these Chester County family pictures from the end of August. Would that I could end every summer day like this.

chester county family pictures
family pictures in the woods
b/w picture of three brothers
french creek family portraits
french creek family portraits
bw family pictures at french creek
chester county family pictures
chester county family pictures
mom and sons
evening light
child portraits in chester county

Rebecca McCall Setzer

Beautiful! I have many a fond memory here.

Rachel's Kids Boutique

Gorgeous Photography.

Just a few catch-the-beautiful-light-at-the-end-of-the-day favorites from a session I shot in June. Many times, kids take a little while to warm up to the idea of being photographed, but this little guy jumped into it with both feet. We had a great time knocking around the park!

child portraits
family in the park
family in the park
summer portraits
summer family portraits
child photography in summer

I really enjoy photographing families who have fun together.  These four ran, jumped, played, wrestled, flexed, and grinned their way through a fantastic Old City portrait session in Philly.  It never hurts to have a day that’s not too hot, combined with beautiful sunlight in a great part of the city.

old city portraits philadelphia
philadelphia pictures in old city
philadelphia child portraits
kids in philly
old city philadelphia child portraits
kids in old city philly

Of course it never hurts to wrap up a shoot with frozen yogurt!

ice cream in philadelphia

Janine Trindade

Thank you so much Ryan!!
We really enjoyed working with you and LOVE the photos!

Anil Trindade

Who are those adorable children? They should be models!

Jacqueline Sullivan Crumley

Simply BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!

Stefanie Walker

Great photos of you all! :-)


I CANNOT BELIEVE we hadn’t seen these yet! They are amazing!

The second try’s the charm!  When I first met the Igne family for portraits, we started shooting and within minutes, a huge downpour started.  Normally with a little rain during a shoot, we’ll have fun and make the most of it.  Not so this time… by the time the rain stopped, every one of us was absolutely soaked, and it was clearly time to reschedule.

We did manage to get a few pictures in before the rain began…

green lane family portraits

A few weeks later we tried again, and this time things went according to plan.  We met up at one of my favorite spots, Hopewell Furnace, an 18th-century iron forge.  The boys loved exploring the area.

chester county family photography
chester county family portraits
portraits at hopewell furnace
looking through the fence
chester county child photography
family pictures at hopewell furnace
chester county family photography
chester county family photography
chester county family photography

So this family totally killed it at their session a few weeks ago.  I realized I’ve been behind on posting sessions and needed to get this one up fast before heading out the door to a shoot yet again, so I’m not going to say too much at this point other than that these six are living with gusto!  Way to go!


elverson family portraits

elverson family portraits