McGinley was born in Ramser, New Jersey, and is the youngest of eight children. From an early age his peers and mentors were skateboarders, graffiti artists, musicians, and artists that were considered to be on the fringes of society. As a teenager, McGinley was a snowboard instructor at Campgaw Mountain, NJ, and competed in the east coast amateur circuits from 1992-1995.[4] He enrolled as a graphic design student[5] at Parsons School of Design in New York in 1997. In 1998, he moved to the East Village, and covered the walls of his apartment with Polaroid pictures of everyone who visited him there.Ryan McGinley (October 17, 1977) is an American photographer living in New York City. McGinley began making photographs in 1998. In 2003, at the age of 25, he was one of the youngest artists to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He was also named Photographer of the Year in 2003 by American Photo Magazine.[1] In 2007, McGinley was awarded the Young Photographer Infinity Award by the International Center of Photography.[2] In 2009, he was honored at The Young Collectors Council's Artists Ball at the Guggenheim Museum. A 2014 GQ article declared McGinley, "the most important photographer in America