Ryan Steed, Memphis, TN. Photograph by Katie Benjamin Steed.

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 Southern 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 most recent solo exhibition was held at the Cotton Museum in Memphis. His work will be featured in Photography in Memphis at the Brooks Museum of Art this fall, and he has recently exhibited work in Little Rock, Portland, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, and Zebulon. His work has been published by Oxford AmericanAINT-BAD and Number:Inc. He is a founding member of Due South Co-op, a collective of Southern photographers.

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