Ryan McMahill

After taking an introductory college course to meet art requirements, Ryan McMahill’s interest in photography didn’t truly emerge until several years later. A friend had offered him a great price on a camera and lens and, once he got around to playing with it, he realized how much he could do with it and was hooked. His new passion coincided with the boom of Instagram and social media, with people trying to tell him how to be successful, but Ryan was set on pursuing his own path. He wanted the freedom to constantly change and to develop a unique style, one that couldn’t be pigeon-holed or labeled. Today, his work ranges from concert photography to landscapes, fashion to street, and portraits to sports.

Embracing the challenge of finding the unexpected in Chicago’s famed neighborhoods and landmarks, Ryan strives to push the boundaries of format in his shots. He also likes to experiment with themes, be it shadows or in conceptual portraits. He makes an effort to get into the studio regularly, drawn to the ever-changing experience of people as subjects. While he uses a few different cameras, he always has his old-school Contax T2 on hand, relying on it to help him capture everything around him naturally. Ryan is the founder of the newly formed Feature Creative Studios located in West Fulton Market.

Ryan’s Prints

“There is so much untapped potential in Chicago as a market. Everyone thinks of the coasts when they talk about art, and overlooks the third largest market in the US! I want to change that. I want to bring more attention to the architecture of Chicago, as well as to the city’s creative underground that is fighting for a platform like the ones established in NY and LA.​” 


Ryan’s Books

Ryan's work is featured in Trope Chicago, part of the Trope City Editions series, a collection of urban and architectural photography books of cities by today’s emerging photographers.

Related Stories

Opportunity, Opportunity, Opportunity.

RYAN MCMAHILL was born in Los Angeles, raised in Saint Louis and eventually moved to Chicago after attending Miami University in Ohio. Ryan is the founder of the newly formed Feature Creative Studios located in West

Read more →