David Ryder covers coronavirus and produces documentary film

Passengers with masks at Seattle Tacoma International Airport
Photo: David Ryder/Reuters

IAS alum David Ryder (’11) has been an independent Seattle photographer and filmmaker for more than 15 years. His portfolio includes extensive experience with wildfires, disaster zones, and hurricane coverage. Ryder’s most recent work concerns travel restrictions to China due to coronavirus. Later this week he will photograph a U.S. government quarantine facility near North Bend where travelers from Hubei province can go if they're not able to self-quarantine at home. 

Capturing images for The New York Times, Getty Images, Bloomberg News, and Reuters, Ryder uses theoretical approaches from his M.A. in Cultural Studies (MACS) training. “MACS allowed me time and resources to improve my cultural ‘product,’” he says. “I improved it by adding theory and steering my creative process with choices informed by reading and investigating and problematizing the institution in which I worked (photojournalism).”

Since MACS, Ryder has expanded his repertoire to documentary filmmaking.  His most recent film, “A Journey Through Conflict and Identity,” follows Anthony Kelley, a UW football Rose Bowl winner, as he investigates his trauma, models his process for healing for his family, and engages with issues of toxic masculinity, identity, and race. “I don't think I would have been able to undertake a project like this and be successful before the doing the MACS program,” says Ryder. “MACS allowed me the time and space to develop a way of doing informed, self-aware, and ethical storytelling.” Visit Ryder’s blog to see his recent work.