Purveyors of Pop-Up Photography in the East End

Houston photographers Ryan Francisco and Megan Tipps look to bring underground arts into the mainstream.

By Nick Esquer February 29, 2016

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Image: Dennis Auburn

Twentysomethings Ryan Francisco and Megan Tipps, the two photographers behind the upcoming pop-up photo exhibition series WIM at Wired Up in the East End, have gathered a collection of some of Texas’ most notable portraitists, a shared passion for the two.

“I love working with people,” notes Francisco. “Most of the people I meet are strangers on the street and it’s pulling out something I see within them. It’s mainly about that one-on-one experience with them.”

Tipps, a tall and slender model-turned-photographer, agrees. “I only do portraits. I like faces and I think from a fashion background, I have a good eye for it.”

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Image: Megan Tipps

The duo reached out to local photographers—some from Houston, some from Austin—they both followed through social media, a huge tool for networking and spreading the word of Houston’s underground photography scene. Francisco, who studied photography while a student at St. Edward’s University in Austin, stresses Houston’s corner in the photography community.

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Image: Lindsey L33

“That’s why we wanted to start this thing… It’s strong in Austin and I’ve been saying that here, that we need this in Houston.”

“When I lived in New York there was this perception that I’m either not from Houston or when I go to New York they’re amazed that I’m shooting here,” adds Tipps, who spent time in the Big Apple modeling and working in fashion.

The setup of WIM, the first in a planned series of pop-up shows featuring live music and and 26 selected portraits, is an experience that the two hope catches on in Houston, a city about to host the annual FotoFest Biennial. “I think do-it-yourself pop-up shows is the thing to do now. It’s supposed to be fun—a social thing where people can talk to each other,” says Tipps.

March 4. 8. Free. Wired Up, 1318 Telephone Rd.

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