Ryan is a Memphis-based photographer whose emphasis lies in documentary photography. His interests range from analog photographic processes to modern digital media. He is an adjunct photography instructor at Memphis College of Art and has exhibited work through Society for Photographic Education, Memphis College of Art, Arkansas State University, Medicine Factory and the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum. His work has been published by Amnesty International, the Library of Congress and #Photography. Steed’s first love is black and white documentary photography. Other known interests are whiskey, dive bars and rural towns.



The grandson of a cotton farmer and son of a literature teacher, Ryan Steed has spent years exploring and rediscovering the American South. He unearths contradictions and hidden meanings with both his images and titles. A Memphis-based photographer and educator, Ryan completed an MFA in Photography at Memphis College of Art, where he now teaches darkroom and social documentary photography.

Ryan's current solo exhibition is on view at the Cotton Museum in Memphis through May 31. He has recently exhibited work in Little Rock, Portland, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, and Zebulon. His art has been featured by AINT-BAD and published by Number:Inc.

Ryan believes in these as absolute truths:

  • The Mississippi River is the only river that matters.
  • Boots should be worn, not polished.
  • His grandmother was a lady.
  • All songs are either love songs or murder ballads.


He can be contacted directly at ryan@ryansteedphoto.com