Hello my name is J. Ryan Stanley. I’m a Documentary, Street and Art Photographer.

I aim to blend fine art and documentary by photographing diverse communities to gain insight into their worlds, tell their stories and explore our shared humanity. My hope is for my work to evoke questions, conversations and appreciation for the beauty and mystery within these spaces.


Artist Statement


As an artist, I strive to create work that bridges the gap between fine art and documentary photography. My primary goal is to capture the essence of various communities through my camera lens, in order to gain a better understanding of their way of life. I believe that everyone has a story to tell, and I aim to tell those stories in a way that highlights what makes us all human. 

I am committed to presenting a balanced view of my subjects, without glorifying or demonizing them. My goal is to create beautiful, emotional images that resonate on a deep level. By shining a spotlight on the beauty, struggles, and triumphs of the people I photograph, I hope to promote empathy, compassion, and a greater sense of connectedness between us all.


Ryan is a photographer from St. Louis, MO. He discovered his passion for photography while studying graphic communications at St. Louis Community College – Meramec. Ryan started his artistic journey with digital collages but later shifted towards street photography to capture genuine human emotions. He drew inspiration from classic street photographers such as Robert Frank, Vivian Maier, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Saul Leiter. Ryan spent years practicing street photography techniques in St. Louis and Chicago, capturing candid photos of people on the street.

In 2020, Ryan switched to a more topical focus, delving deep into profound stories and issues. He explored topics such as ‘The Art Protest,’ ‘Remnants of Cario Illinois,’ ‘Small Town Rural,’ and ‘Home as a Concept.’ Ryan also started photographing creative and cultural events in St. Louis and the surrounding areas, capturing emotional moments and understanding cultures better. His work aims to create a balanced view of his subjects without glorifying or demonizing them.

Ryan’s work blends fine art and documentary photography and is influenced by classic street photography, abstract painting and photography, outsider art, and the history of graphic design. His photography style is bold, emotionally solid, and uses both BW and color. Ryan’s strongest influences are the lost and forgotten people, places, and things. He searches for stories that shed light on the forgotten, blending these influences in his photography.

For Ryan, experience is part of the art-making experience, and he loves to explore new places, feelings, and contexts. He continuously searches for beauty in the everyday and aspires to take his shows across the country, creating opportunities for spontaneity to develop new ideas.





“The Streets are Flooded with Photographers: A Photo Flood Saint Louis”, Group Show

St. Louis Community College at Meramec, St.Louis MO
The 9th Annual Peterson Photography Lecture Series.



Small Town Rural”
Book Release, Solo Show

Lucas School House, St.Louis MO



Solo Exhibition, The Art of Protest

Sanctioned Sneaker Collective, Chesterfield, MO
Solo Exhibition, The Art of Protest
Egg, St. Louis, MO



PBS, Television Broadcast 2021

Featured Artist, “The Voices” 

– Living in St Louis 


The Riverfront Times, St. Louis Publication

“Best Photography Blog” – category 

nomination 2004


PBS, Television Broadcast 2008

Found on Cherokee

– Living in St Louis