About the challenges of building a commercial photography studio with Ryan from 8183 Studio


We had the pleasure to talk to Ryan Hill  – one of the founders and photographer at Kansas City-based commercial photography studio 8183 Studio. Ryan shared some details about how a coulple of recent projects came to life, and more. Read the full interview and get a closer look to 8183 Studio and the creatives behind it.

Production Paradise: Could you tell us more about 8183 Studio? How was it founded and what were the challenges?

Ryan Hill: 8183 Studio was founded with humble beginnings from two photographers, Ryan Hill and Chad Hickman, who wanted to build a studio from the ground up. The challenge with starting any commercial photography studio is to try and get noticed, build a solid book and ultimately, get paid work. We took that challenge to heart and built our studio and business centered around producing high caliber work, being good to people and exceeding expectations.

Production Paradise: Who or what inspired you to become a photographer and start 8183 Studio?

Ryan Hill: I was inspired to become a photographer after meeting and working for Paul Versluis. Paul was an instrumental teacher and mentor in fueling my passion to become a visual communicator.

Production Paradise: What has been the biggest and most exciting project you have worked on?

Ryan Hill: We were awarded a project to create dynamic visuals for Noodles and Company about a year ago. The project had a massive media buy and a really great creative team from Barkley. Together with Barkley’s art direction, we captured and delivered 18 pan-flipping noodle images. We were making our captures by freezing the noodles in mid-air as they were being flipped from within the pan. It was fun, messy and all about repetition to get the perfect “splashing” of noodles and ingredients together in perfect harmony. After 4 days of shooting and two weeks of post-production, we created stunning images that we’ll always be proud of.

Production Paradise: One of your latest projects is the series of eye-catchy ads for AMC Theatres mobile app. Tell us a bit more about the project.

Ryan Hill: The entire concept centers on the idea of ordering treats from your seats when you go see a movie at AMC Theatres as a new, convenient way to get concessions. The deliverables were going to be used in many different size layouts so our first challenge was to determine the best way to execute the project. In this case, we shot almost everything separate. That way, the agency could take our layered .psd files and adjust the subjects from the background in order to fit any layout, whether for print or screen.

Client: AMC Theatres

Production Paradise: These images were created for a new service – is it more challenging to work with original products / services, when you don’t have any reference point?

Ryan Hill: It is always more challenging, creatively speaking, to bring a new idea to fruition. There are no safe places in past examples to hide your weaknesses, you have to be confident in your creative ability in order to execute while the agency and client are standing two feet away. We almost prefer it this way. It forces us to trust our experience, our ability and our team to put together a successful shoot.

Client: AMC Theatres

Production Paradise: Which part of the project did you / 8183 Studio took care of? Did you get an exact briefing from the ad agency or the client or did you also participate in coming up with the idea who to visualise the campaign?

Ryan Hill: It definitely varies on how much we collaborate with agencies. Honestly we’ve been on both sides of the table, and all I would say is that we like the variety of both. As with anything, there are pros and cons to each approach.

Client: AMC Theatres

Production Paradise: How do you see 8183 Studio in a few years? Do you have a clear goal you would like to reach?

Ryan Hill: We are continually expanding the motion side of production in order to offer complete services to the clients who trust us. We believe in creating a great in-house team and a great working environment, rather than relying solely on freelance crew. To us, it’s more about finding the right team with which we produce high caliber work while being light-hearted and having fun.

Client: AMC Theatres

Production Paradise: How does Production Paradise help your company?

Ryan Hill: Production paradise does a phenomenal job in promoting all aspects of production. In our case with still photography, our images and bio are listed among some of the industry’s best. No other listings compare to the quality of work and services that Production Paradise represents. When agencies and businesses are in need of production at the highest quality, there is no better place to look than Production Paradise.

We would like to thank Ryan for taking the time to speak with us. You can see more of 8183 Studio on their website and on our Food & Drink Spotlight Magazines.

If you want to show off your latest work to the industry in the next edition of Production Paradise’s Spotlight or Showcase magazine, contact us now at or

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1 Comment

  1. Cool interview and tips as well!


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