Ryan Gee: The Genius Behind The Lens
The GZA, Geezuzz, Genius, Geetard, G Money Grip, Gill–all nicknames for the man of the hour, Ryan Gee. The story goes something like this: born on March 16, 1974 in Newark, New Jersey, Ryan is the only child of Norman and Anne Marie Gee. Growing up, Ryan was into your average kid stuff–baseball, basketball, Frisbee golf, and tiddlywinks–but was hit with the surfing and skateboard bug in his early teen years. Ryan soon realized that all of his friends were getting seriously good at skating, and he figured it might be cool to try and document them by learning how to shoot photos. So he got his first 35mm camera (a Mamiya), taped a video camera’s fisheye to the front of it, and the rest is history. Ryan’s first photo published in TransWorld SKATEboarding was of his friend Ron Knigge (a New Deal pro at the time) in the April 1994 issue.
The first couple years of Ryan’s professional photography career were slightly shady. He was pretty hit and miss, and his good photos would usually end up in bad magazines. At one point, he talked to Grant Brittain about his photography, and together they figured out the problem. He was always shooting at f 2.8 with the lens focused on infinity. Not good. Ryan was then banished to Australia for three weeks of intensive training, and he returned with the goods.
Since those early days, Ryan has been living large in the East Coast’s finest skateboard city, Philadelphia, where’s he’s become the main Eastern Seaboard soul-stealer over the last five years. Oyola, Pluhowski, O’Connor, Kalis, Gall, Margera, Getz, Maldonado, Pulio, and Trudnoski are just some of the East Coast players who have entrusted Ryan to get the shot right, and that’s just what he’s done.–Dave Swift
“When I finally get him out of bed, he takes an amazing photo.”–Josh Kalis
“Once you get the fire going under his butt, Ryan’s the one to get the goods. Viva la slug power!”–Grant Brittain
“Ryan Gee–a type of carbon-based life-form that not only sleeps a lot, it also hibernates. This human calls himself a veggie for health reasons, but at the same time smokes cigarettes and eats cancer- causing WOW potato chips constantly. Somehow, through this disturbed lifestyle, he has figured out the formula for taking honey- glazed photos on a daily basis. Take photos like his, but do not live like him. I’m the reason he has the gill.”–Tim O’Connor
“Ryan Gee is Bam’s slave and henchman. Whatever Bam tells Gee to do, Gee does it. On tour Bam wanted Gee to set himself on fire
and kept yelling at the top of his lungs, “Burn the middle of your chest!” Within seconds Gee’s chest hair was on fire and the whole van was screaming wildly.”–Ed Templeton