Ever find someone cool on Instagram and 'go down the rabbit hole'? Meet local lensman Ryne Belanger
Off The Strip Staff: Hi Ryne! Will you be our Insta BFF?
@RyneBelanger: Yes I will be (:
OTS Staff: By day, you are …
Ryne Belanger: A spiritual being having a human experience. Oh, also a photographer, son and friend (:
OTS Staff: By night, you are …
Belanger: Running wild 😂
OTS Staff: Why did you want to be a photographer?
Belanger: I always wanted to do something creative, and I thought it was film. But then photography stuck with me when I switched out of journalism into photography in high school.
OTS Staff: That’s really cool! Telling stories through photos offers so many opportunities to be creative, especially in a town like Vegas where something is always happening!
OTS Staff: How many years have you been on Insta?
Belanger: I think since 2011 or 2012.
OTS Staff: Nice! What was your first post?
Belanger: Let me go look!
Belanger: It’s a photo in Laguna Beach, CA with one of my best friends. [I’m] giving her a piggyback ride (:
OTS Staff: That’s so fun! This is a really cute photo. That’s another great thing about pictures. They capture precious memories.
OTS Staff: What is your top post?
Belanger: Having a business account gives you different insights, so some photos have a high amount of saves, while others have more likes [and] comments.
Belanger: I’d say my first Las Vegas Weekly cover brought in the most for me. Mainly because it was my first local cover from the city I was born and raised in, and I got a lot of support from my community in Las Vegas.
OTS Staff: Most people that live in Vegas aren’t ones that were born and raised in Vegas. That’s super cool! What was one of your favorite places to go in Las Vegas when you were kid?
Belanger: Always and forever Lake Mead, if that’s considered Vegas. If meaning more in the city, the OG Wet ‘n’ Wild and Circus Circus were hits growing up in Vegas for me.
OTS Staff: The OG Wet ‘n’ Wild was the BEST! The Black Hole water ride was super fun. And Circus Circus is iconic.
OTS Staff: What is the top challenge of being an Insta influencer? What’s the best thing and the worst thing?
Belanger: Keeping your audience/followers engaged, and for me finding a balance of posting personal and work related content.
OTS Staff: What’s something you won’t post about on social media?
Belanger: Personal issues in my own life. I understand some people use the internet to express themselves and use it as a platform to relate, but social media isn’t the place for me to do that.
OTS Staff: Why do you love Insta?
Belanger: It’s such an amazing way to share your life, and your interests no matter what industry you’re in. Also I feel you can gauge a person by their Instagram and what they post. Instagram is great way to see someone’s aesthetic and personality.
OTS Staff: Absolutely! If you could change one thing to improve Instagram, what would it be and why?
Belanger: I guess it wouldn’t be Instagram that I care to change, but the work I post on it. Always looking to improve my photography.
OTS Staff: That’s super inspiring! What do you want to improve on in your photography?
Belanger: So many things! From the subjects I capture, to how I capture them, to how I work in post. I always try to find ways to improve each aspect of my craft.
OTS Staff: We love how your passion shines through when you talk about your work! ❤️ When you aren’t working, what do you like to do for fun?
Belanger: It’s always an adventure for me. I find my happy places are near water, or musical festivities.
OTS Staff: What is one of your favorite musical festivities and why?
Belanger: I’ve only actually done Life Is Beautiful and Electric Daisy Carnival (Las Vegas), which EDC LV is much more my type of music. But I do want want to venture out and go to other music festivals.
OTS Staff: TikTok has become such a popular platform for content creators. Would you ever leave Insta for TikTok?
Belanger: I do go on TikTok here and there and do post every once in awhile, [but] I don’t have drive to become a TikToker, though, LOL.
“Don’t overwork yourself, always find ways to improve your work, and stay passionate.”Ryne Belanger, Las Vegas photographer
OTS Staff: It’s definitely a different vibe than Insta with its own unique spin on social. What’s the secret to a great ‘gram?
Belanger: I’d say locking in a great aesthetic to match your style of life to your grid and finding a way to relate to people with similar interests.
OTS Staff: Do you ever get approached to do brand collabs? If so, how do decide which ones you want to do?
Belanger: Yes, I do, rarely. I guess if it makes sense for me and the rates are good I’m in (:
OTS Staff: What’s your latest obsession? A show? food? song? And why do you love it?
Belanger: I just finished “Ozark,” just loved everything. Songs, anything by Ben Bohmer right now. Food is always sushi or In-N-Out burger for me.
OTS Staff: Who’s in your DMs?
Belanger: Love interests, friends, and people who want to shoot! (:
OTS Staff: What’s your advice to someone that wants to be a professional photographer in Vegas?
Belanger: Well, it matters what you want to photograph really, but always find ways to work smarter and not harder. The most common thing I see in artists is a burnout, and that’s even for myself. Don’t overwork yourself, always find ways to improve your work, and stay passionate. ‘Cause if there’s no passion, then what’s the point?
OTS Staff: Tag a bestie!
OTS Staff: Thank you so much for being our Insta BFF!
Belanger: You’re so welcome! Thank you for wanting me to be a part of this interview.