Chapter 1 / Collective

Ryan Herms

Words by: Courtney Chew

Photography by: Ryan Herms

Model: Mike Eggleton


Ryan Herms is a photographer living in New York. His work highlights the architecture that surrounds him, the waves, the surf and his friends who inspire him. Ryan’s visuals and words create an almost poetic storyline that gets you thinking about something bigger than what you see at first glance. Read more about this photographer and OCIN human, Ryan Herms.   


CC: You shoot architecture, your friends, the surf and waves. What is it about these subjects that inspire you to capture and share the stories that you do?


RH: My friend group is extremely creative so any ideas we have we can make into a reality. We all love creating so we just feed off each others energy. I consider my friends family and we are always up to something, so capturing moments that years later we can look at and take a trip down memory lane and see how far we've come is really special to me. I shoot architecture because so much man power and work goes into making these buildings/ structures. Each one is a work of art even if it is basic and when you can feel an emotion just from looking at a photo of a building, that is fascinating. The surf is one of my favorite subjects to shoot. Observing surfers in the water to being in the water surfing is extremely meditative for me. When you’re there it’s just you, your board/camera, and the ocean so nothing else matters in the world.  


CC: Where is home? Where is a city or a place that you love to visit and makes you feel like home?


RH: Home for me growing up was a small town in Connecticut (one you definitely never heard of) but the summer of 2017 I moved to Venice, California where I lived for about a year. Now I live in Brooklyn, New York. I love Venice and NYC, they both feel like HOME to me. Both places have shaped me into who I am today and I’m forever grateful of the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had. 

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CC: What's a song or musical artist that gets you feeling like your most open, free, positively impactful self? 


RH: I’ve been listening to a lot of Mac Miller lately. The song Skin from The Divine Feminine is one of the first songs I listen to everyday. Also, the album Flatbar by Vinos is in heavy rotation. My homie wanted to make an album and he did and it’s amazing. Invest in yourself, keep your frequency high, do whatever you have to do to make your dreams a reality. 


CC: What's your favorite thing to do to calm your mind and reset?


RH: I like to ski, skate, or surf. All of them let me turn off my brain and only think about whatever I’m doing right then and there. It’s easy to get caught up thinking about the past or the future. When you start to get caught up that's when you start to stress out. I also like to just walk around the city with my camera. I can go anywhere and see things that I never would be able to if I was stressing out about work or something that happened in the past. Going exploring without a purpose opens your eyes to a new perspective on even the most simple things. It could be a street sign or the way the light hits a building that you might just walk by missing the beauty that is all around us. 

Invest in yourself, keep your frequency high, do whatever you have to do to make your dreams a reality.

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CC: OCIN exists to connect humans to our most open, free and positively impactful self. What does this mean to you and do you think your work can play a role in this? How do you think we can be better at supporting each other into really living into this self everyday?


RH: To me it’s important to love yourself and to always be striving to be the best version of yourself. The universe rewards you with what you give to it. If you are giving off positive high frequencies then the universe will match whatever you give to it. I hope that my work will cause people to feel an emotion that will either be a realization about how they are feeling that maybe they couldn’t describe or will spark action to get out and explore, create, do something new. We can be better in not being so quick to jump to conclusions about people. We often will meet someone and judge them right away based on what they wear or who they’re with or where they’re from. Take a minute to listen to their story and be genuine in response. Everyone has a story. Why bring someone down when you can lift them up?