Jillian Ryan Photography » Blog

As a photographer, I’ve definitely been guilty of trespassing. Sometimes it’s simply too hard to resist when the perfect location catches your eye. Once, I was even kicked out of a location by the cops. Luckily they were pretty nice about it, but since then I’ve made it a point to ask permission whenever I can.

When I first noticed the Buckhorn Baths in Mesa, it was easy to see it’d be a one of a kind location for photo shoots. So I knocked on the door of one of the small houses in the back, and luckily enough, the owner of the property answered.

After talking to Jerri, she graciously gave me permission to take photos on their property as long as I called to give them a heads up first.

The reason being, Jerri and Ted are in the process of selling Buckhorn Baths to the city. Unfortunately it hasn’t been in business for awhile now due to the amount of upkeep this historic Arizona landmark requires. We’re all hoping the city decides to preserve it, but it’s difficult to say at this point because it’d be quite an expensive project to undergo.

As a thanks to Jerri and Ted (or as they call each other, Scooter and Teddy) I did a portrait session with them at their beloved Buckhorn Baths. Jerri and Ted are newly married, though they’ve known each other their whole lives.

Ted grew up at the Buckhorn Baths where his parents built the property from the ground up. At the time, it was a thriving and popular bathhouse where many celebrities and professional athletes stayed. Some of the most well known athletes who stayed at Buckhorn Baths include Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Gaylord Perry.

A film called Forget About It, starring Andy Garcia and Burt Reynolds was filmed there but unfortunately never released. And a few years back, a BMW commercial was shot there.

Even an old school outlaw nicknamed Black Bart was found hiding out at the Baths when it was up and running.

I had a wonderful time getting to know Jerri and Ted and chatting with them about this amazing property. I even got to take an inside look at the wildlife museum. It’s without a doubt one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited. I love the Wild West feel of Buckhorn Baths. I’ve never seen anything like it and am beyond grateful for the opportunity to spend time at this location before the city determines it’s fate.

To make a donation to the Mesa Historic Preservation Commission here.


Megan and Kyle’s wedding at The Gathering Place in Pinetop was filled with gorgeous details and beautiful nature. It was refreshing to get outside of the Phoenix area and photograph in a location that is actually abundant with trees! Plus, since the wedding was in the summer, it made perfect sense to escape to a place with cooler weather.

We had such an awesome time spending the day photographing these sweet lovebirds.  Their fun, silly bridal party was a treat to work with. They were all so laid back and down to have a good time.

There were so many sweet moments during their wedding. Megan’s grandfather was the officiant and many tears of joy were shed during their vows.

One of my favorite things Megan and Kyle decided to do was the bubble exit. The venue doesn’t allow sparklers, so they opted for bubbles instead and had a final dance together before heading off to their honeymoon. The bubble exit was way cool and photographed wonderfully in the lighting of the venue.

Truly every part of the day was beautiful, from getting ready through to the reception. I’m beyond grateful we were able to be a part of their special day!

  • Brittany - These detail shots are amazing!ReplyCancel

I just recently started photographing naked women.

I guess that’s why the internet sharing issue has started to surface more frequently.

Here’s a little story about another situation that made me want to give up working with people and retreat to a pug farm in I don’t know, Idaho.

A while back I ran a boudoir promotion in order to boost my marketing activities in this niche. I offered a limited amount of free boudoir sessions in exchange for permission to use the images online (e.g. my website and social media).

The shoots were a success and I was all revved up and ready to expand my outdoor boudoir business. I emailed each of the models with the images I wanted to use. They all loved them and almost everyone gave me permission to use their photos online.

But there’s always an exception.

One model backed out completely. Of course this was AFTER we had done the shoot and AFTER I had spent hours and hours editing her photos.

Like I did with everyone else, I had sent her an email with the photo attachments fully expecting a happy reply. But instead I got a complete 180. Suddenly she was no longer OK with me using pictures. She had her reasons for being uncomfortable with it, i.e. her boyfriend and her job. I understand that.

I just wish I would have known in advance so I could have found someone else to take her place.

Out of all the sessions, hers was one of my favorites which made it even more frustrating that she didn’t want it online. And then there was the fact that I had made it a point to really lay out the terms of the promotion clearly and well in advance to prevent something like this from happening.

Now that those terms were completely out the window, (well, not completely, she was willing to let me use the shots of her from the neck up – uh, no thanks, this is a boudoir promotion in 2014, not 1842.) I had to ask her to pay full price.

Mind you, this is also the abbreviated version. I don’t want this blog to read like the headache this situation really was. Ick. Moving on.

The thing is, I get a lot of inquiries from women interested in booking a boudoir session. And naturally some of them are reluctant about using the images online. I used to leave it up to the client to decide, but I was secretly annoyed whenever someone wouldn’t let me use them.

It actually made me not want to do the session at all. What’s the point if I can’t share it?

I’d rather book that spot with another client who lets me use their photos.

Like any photographer with a weird client problem, I asked: What would Jasmine Star do?

Sure enough, she had the answer in her post “Do Photographers Need Client Permission?

Upon reading it I had an immediate “Fuck Yeah!” moment and was inspired to update my policy.

Instead of being frustrated by missed marketing opportunities, I’ve chosen to reward clients who are happy to release their images.

I offer them a substantial discount as a token of my appreciation.

And they deserve it because they’re awesome.

They’re actually really, really awesome.

Here’s what they’re doing when they decide to share their images:

  • They’re encouraging other women to celebrate their bodies
  • They’re building a broader acceptance of the female form in general, and not just pinned images of Miranda Kerr, but all types of everyday women in real, natural settings (sometimes even photoshop free!)
  • AND they’re helping outsmall business! The true engine of the economy.

There’d be no way to run a successful photography business without client support.

After all, it’d be pretty weird if I said I was a boudoir photographer and a prospective client couldn’t find any boudoir photos on my blog.

So there it is folks!

My policy and thoughts on sharing images on the web.

Hands down, I’d still prefer to share the session versus not sharing it, (and I hope that’s the option most women will choose). Either way it’s important to have a policy in place to protect you from becoming that bitter photographer whose only company is a flock of pugs.

  • Elizabeth Zimmerman - I absolutely love this! How interesting. I was burned this past summer you with a model call — it was AWFUL!

    Thanks for the food for thought! ❤️ReplyCancel

    • jillianryanphotography@gmail.com - Thank you for the amazing comment and for stopping by Elizabeth!ReplyCancel

  • Lotus Buccola - Absolutely perfect! I’ve actually implemented something similar late this year and it works amazingly.ReplyCancel

    • jillianryanphotography@gmail.com - Thank you for your feedback and sweet comment Lotus! I appreciate it and think it’s awesome you’ve got something similar going on too :) ReplyCancel