Inside the Inbox of… Ryan McGuire, Gratisography

15/Jun/2016 · 2 MINS READ

Who doesn’t love Gratisography? But what’s going on behind the scenes inside the inbox of Ryan McGuire, photographer and founder?


2880 UNREAD – I know it seems like a lot, but I promise I’ve read all the important ones 🙂
558 DRAFTS – I use drafts as a notepad. Rarely do I use drafts for drafting actual emails.
 – I flag messages that are pending task items.

Which email conversation has sparked your interest recently?

Recently I’ve received four different mentoring request emails from aspiring designers and photographers. It feels good that the next generation of creatives are inspired by my work and that they are interested in having me help develop their skills.

What’s the top priority in your inbox at the moment?

My customers are always my top priority in my inbox. Sorry spam and sticker request emails.

Who are you emailing that inspires you?

I emailed Shepard Fairley (the Obey Giant artist) to see if he wants to collaborate on a skateboard design project. Shepard is a brilliant artist and having his involvement on this project could really help a humble skateboard company that I respect and support. I haven’t heard back yet, but I’m an optimist. (P.S. – If you’re a famous artist that is environmentally conscious and wants to use their superpowers for good, send me an email.)

What newsletters are you signed up to?

I’m signed up to a bunch, but to be honest I don’t read any of them. Usually when a newsletter comes in I’m in the middle of something else and then I don’t go back to the message because it’s not usually a priority. They should invent a way for me to choose a time to receive newsletters. If it happened later in the evening I would probably read a lot more. Sorry guys, I know how much effort you put into these emails and I should really be reading them.

Which kind of email gets instantly deleted?

I instantly delete generic sales emails from web development and SEO companies. I’m not sure who does the sales training at these companies, but a cold sales email is the worst possible first impression you can make.

Which kinds of email do you most love to receive?

My favorite emails are from random people around the world that love my pictures I share on Gratisography and that need to tell me about it. There is something special about when a person is so excited about something you’re doing that they take the time out of their busy life to express their gratitude. If you love what someone is doing make sure to tell them. Your appreciation is like motivation pixie dust.

How long does it usually take you to respond?

I love receiving fast responses to emails so I try to do the same. I would estimate, on average, that I respond to emails faster than a coffee drinking cheetah. That equates to 10 minutes or less.

When do you stop replying to emails?

I stop responding to emails when I’m sleeping.

Finally, you have a chance to change the world with just one email – who’s that getting sent to and why?

Probably Miranda July. I love her work/style/randomness and if I had an idea to change the world I think she would be a fun person to do it with. If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth doing.