About Me - Ryan Kost

Hi there! Thanks for checking out my work! Below is a bit about me:

B.A. in Geography, East Carolina University;

M.A. in Cultural Anthropology, George Mason University.

Be Curious. Be Compassionate.  Photography allows me to listen. The world has so much to say.

In my formative years, you'd often find me buried in cultural magazines with an unimaginable sense of curiosity. The images captivated my very core, and my spirit danced with insatiable wonder.  My table mat, shower curtain and bedroom wallpaper were all world maps.  Often, I would close my eyes, spin a globe and abruptly stop it with my finger.  Wherever it ended up, I would fastidiously go on a research binge assiduously trying to humanize and understand these 'distant' places.  In particular, I was drawn to cultures who seemingly harmoniously lived with nature and truly embodied ideas of community. I aspired to be more like them. I would run around outside all day barefoot, build rudimentary forts, climb trees, and with unbridled determination, I'd knock on every neighbors door seeing who wanted to come outside and explore with me! 

Fast forward 25 or so years, and here I am, 32 years old living in Arvada, Colorado. Many of my dreams have come true, and I have a conscious recognition of my privilege.  I have been working as an Outdoor Guide and Experiential Educator for most of my professional life. With unwavering love and support from my parents, I have been shown the  world.  I have lived, worked, traveled and studied in 60+ countries. I have led over 30 trips in Peru ranging from leading visually impaired students to over 17,000 feet in the Andes for No Barrier, to teaching Cultural Anthropology to students for National Geographic and instructing Semester programs for the visionary company Where There Be Dragons.  I received a Master’s in Socio-Cultural Anthropology studying notions of identity and religious hybridity in Cusco, Peru.  

I have fostered incredibly special relationships with people around the world who grew up very different than I did. They have shaped my perspectives and left an indelible sense of compassion deep in my soul. Just as I did as a little kid, I still look up to those who are unequivocally  intertwined with the earth and have persevered through true adversity with a sense of dignity and generosity that is utterly remarkable and admirable.  I want to give back the best way I know how. Indelibly, imagery has always impacted me in profound ways. The acclaimed investigative science writer Paul Brodeur once quipped, "Statistics are human beings with tears wiped off." I aim to bring those tears back.

 I only seriously picked up a camera a few years ago to start documenting some of my travels and share my stories with friends and family.  My irrepressible eagerness to share my passions has found its home behind the lens. Photography allows me to listen. I become a student of the world. It has allowed me to humanize connections to landscapes and other cultures.  Our planet is vast, but we all share it together. We all have stories, we're all curious. we all connect with the dirt beneath our feet and above all, we're all human and should expect a certain sense of dignity and compassion.  Through my photography, I hope you cultivate meaning beyond just a pretty picture.  When that relationship is established, it sparks dialogue, it taps into a visceral sense of wonder, and it promotes awareness for our incredibly diverse cultures and landscapes. We slow down, we observe, we listen and we engage; we strive to leave this little sphere we all call home a better and more equitable place.   

My work has been published online by National Geographic, City of Denver, City of Estes Park, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and in Where There Be Dragons print publications. I hope this is just the beginning of my journey. Photography, education and storytelling are my passions.  I hope to use them to carve out a career and more importantly give back to the world and leave indelible images that intrigue and inspire in some powerful way. 

Please feel free to email me with any feedback, musings, opportunities, questions, quotes....really anything! I love hearing from you, and I will always make time to respond! Furthermore, if you are interested in photography lessons, or if you are interested in planning a trip to Peru, please inquire on my contact form.  I can happily make arrangements and/or guide your trip creating a remarkably memorable and meaningful experience!

Thank you for viewing and engaging! 

Sincerely,

Ryan Kost