Senior profiles: Ryan Peters

Loyola University Chicago | Engineering

Bridget Killian, art editor

Cars fly past the silent city as the clock strikes 4 a.m. It feels like the entire city is asleep except for Ryan Peters, senior, who is ready with his camera to capture the streaks of lights rushing down the highway. The only sounds heard are the tires against the pavement and the shutter of his camera lens.

Taking pictures has been a pastime of Ryan’s since his second grade art teacher gave him a photography assignment in class. According to Ryan, his project was what sparked his interest of photography.

“I really enjoyed [the assignment] so I had my dad buy me [a camera],” Ryan said. “Since elementary school, [photography] has been something that has always been in the background.”

Ryan said his dad has been an inspiration for photography to become a larger part of his life. During middle school, Ryan said he took a break from photography, but seeing his dad taking pictures encouraged him to start up again.

“[My dad] bought a camera for himself that I’m using now,” Ryan said. “He reminded me a couple years back how much I really enjoyed [photography].”

Ryan has explored different places to shoot photographs from abandoned buildings to nature landscapes. He also shares his hobby with others by taking photos with his friends. They explored a run down school and an abandoned factory in downtown St. Louis that, according to Callie Mechelke, senior, were great places to take photos.  

“[Our friends] knew a bunch of old buildings that were abandoned and we were able to get inside,” Mechelke said. “Ryan and I were the only ones with cameras so we were just shooting. It all looked so cool because it was run down and rustic.”

Ryan’s family watched him grow as a photographer throughout his life. According to Sherry Peters, Ryan’s mother, Ryan has always been a creative person which has been evident in his photography.

“He always had an appreciation for photographs and visual things,” Sherry said. “While most people focus on the big picture, Ryan sees the little details.”

Ryan hopes to study engineering or environmental sustainability at Loyola University in Chicago. Although he plans on majoring in the STEM field, Ryan said he wants to continue his hobby throughout college and beyond.

“I plan on taking my camera wherever I go,” Ryan said. “I’m definitely going to do whatever I can to keep [photography] a part of my life.”