As my scanning project has finally taken me to the Baby Ryan albums, I’ve been overcome with the urge to break out my creative juices and do something with these photos that have been hidden from the public eye for years! What good do these photos do if they’re just boxed up in someone’s house, and maybe once every few years someone thumbs through them? I decided I would reinvent a few of these photos that I starred in, with various approaches.
As you see below, here’s a perfectly easy photo to recreate, since Johnny is virtually the same age as I was here. Ideally I would have taken the photo in the same place and used the same background as it looks today… unfortunately the trailer house is no longer in the family, and as far as I know, sits mostly vacant at the Missouri River as a summertime fishing retreat for someone. Even so, odds are the inside has been changed. If the house is still standing, I would imagine the kitchen wallpaper would be in tact. The table we’re sitting at was in our Minneapolis apartment until the time we moved, leaving it to Lauren’s brother, who we presume left it with his roommate. So a full recreation would have been impossible. However, I decided to dress like Dad, dress Johnny like me, and attempt to get Baxter to pose just like Puppy, all while sitting in our current dining area. I did wind up Photoshopping the tint onto the glasses, and snuck in part of the old table into the corner. Otherwise it was realistic. Thanks to Lauren for taking about 24 shots… believe it or not Johnny and Baxter were the easiest to pose. I kept laughing and ruining many of the shots.
In the second shot, I am seen as a 3-year-old (maybe even 4?) posing with a baby lion cub at the Huron Mall. Mom, you were right, there was a photo of Dusty Hovde holding a monkey but that must be in the Hovde collection. I actually remember this happening! You may not know it to look at my face, but I do recall being rather scared to hold that lion. I wonder what the circumstances of that trip to the Mall were? Did Mom and Lori go to the mall with me and Dusty because they were aware of a zoo animal photo shoot, or did they just stumble upon it? I decided to re-enact the photo in the present day as it may look with the lion at the age of 30. (Lions don’t live that long–a more accurate representation would have been a lion skeleton). It was meant to appear Photoshopped. I never intended anyone to believe I was posing with a real lion. People were supposed to see it and laugh and say, “Oh, that Ryan!” But my humor continues to be lost on some, who pointed out “I can totally tell that’s Photoshopped, you aren’t fooling me you big stupid jerk!” Old college friend Matt Hanson and his wife Gillian are constantly quick to point out flaws in such things. Dude, it was intended to look a little Photoshopped… you think I’d attempt to make people actually believe I would be able to track down and then pose for a photo with the same lion and put my hand over its mouth? And in the deserted Huron Mall, no less? Come on, man!
If you think this is a 2-and-done series of reenactments, you are sadly mistaken. There is plenty more where this came from!