Ryleigh Gissel


Ryleigh Gissel 300x375.pngMy photography is vast; I love to work with aesthetics and dominance. These aesthetics range from a variety of things which include color, atmosphere, texture, and feelings. Recently I have been taking my love for aesthetics and dominance and manipulating it to make viewers feel a certain way. I have been traveling to Southern Californian cities and photographing how the cities are responding to the pandemic and social issues that are overwhelming the United States. While capturing people in their environment, I also focus on the color that surrounds them, as well as the texture in order to enhance the atmospheric feeling in each place I visit.

As humans we have changed so much during the span of the pandemic. As we continue through this new way of life, I am using street photography to document how people are responding to the virus and other social issues that the world is experiencing. Within the different cities I have been traveling to, I can easily notice the difference in ways that people behave in response to not only the virus, but to each other. These are just a few snapshots of my full collection in which I focus primarily on faces and human interaction to find a clear understanding to how we are emotionally connected to each other.


I lately have been approaching photography as a documentarian, and I have been taking my images in an unadulterated approach to capture an honest representation of everyday life.  Since the pandemic began, we have been experiencing extreme life changes, all which involve a change in attire. The wearing of face coverings hasn’t been an easy task and has apparently resulted in the categorization of people. This body of work explores the relationship between citizens of Southern California and their masks in the midst of the global pandemic. To my surprise, I found the streets to be casual. The streets were alive and only a handful of people were wearing their face coverings correctly. Since there is such a vast difference in people during this pandemic, I have decided to focus entirely on the connection of specific people and the relationship to their face masks.  

I feel as if sometimes it is a certain perspective of a common object that portrays the importance of a time or place. In this case, it is the face masks during this pandemic. The poetry of street photography emerges when people represent different emotions and moods, and is an ongoing way of accurately describing the exact times we live in. My thought processes are highly subjective and unfiltered, while I want to simply highlight the synergies created by different people in different places.