Photographer Changed his Outlook on Life

The photos of Ryan Woodley “talk.” His profile is one of 200 “Meet a Scientologist” videos available on the Scientology website at

Ryan Woodley’s philosophy of his craft is simple: Photography is communication. Through Scientology he gained the skills to excel in his profession.

“I used to be quite inhibited and I didn’t want to communicate,” says Woodley. “I preferred doing my own thing and keeping to myself, but this affected my work.”

Scientology helped him break out of this shell.

“You have to be able to relate to people and things to capture their essence in your shots,” he says. “Scientology has helped me clarify my concepts and express them to others—to really communicate what I’d had in my mind.”

And the ability to draw others out makes a huge difference as well.

“I’ve dealt with models who are very self-conscious and rigid,” says Woodley. “Just by applying the skills I’ve learned in Scientology I have been able to help them become more comfortable and fluid and I’ve gotten amazing shots.”

Hand in hand with improved communication, he gained a heightened respect for others.

“There is a stark difference between the way I was before and now. I really appreciate people—not just friends and family, but even casual acquaintances.”

Woodley, 30, was introduced to Scientology in his teens when his parents became Scientologists. On his first Scientology course he learned the technology of study developed by L. Ron Hubbard. This knowledge has stood him in good stead in a field that has advanced enormously technologically over the past decade. Woodley credits his mastery of Study Technology with being able to keep abreast of new developments in photography and assimilate new skills. As a result he can concentrate on the subject he’s shooting, because he is relaxed about his technique.

“I get an idea or visualize what I want and pull off the exact shot fast,” he says.

In addition to managing his own photography studio and a web design company, Woodley volunteers as a tutor and holds a staff position at the Church of Scientology Mission of Chartwell in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“What’s important to me is a peaceful environment where people can get along,” says Woodley. “If I can help bring that about through my photography or by helping people with what I’ve learned through Scientology, that’s important to me. I am very passionate about what I do and I believe in following my dreams.”

The popular “Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at now total 200 broadcast-quality documentary videos featuring Scientologists from diverse locations and walks of life. The personal stories are told by Scientologists who are educators, teenagers, skydivers, a golf instructor, a hip-hop dancer, IT manager, stunt pilot, mothers, fathers, dentists, photographers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, engineers, students, business owners and more.

A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, in April 2008 the Church of Scientology became the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, which has now been viewed by millions of visitors.