Quirky Portraits of Guinness World Records Holders Reveal Who’s Behind the Exceptional Feats

Portraits of World Record Holders Highlight the People Behind Their Feats

“Kitty McScratch” Elizabeth Hunter: Most Prolific Dance Game World Record Holder, Los Angeles, California
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

We often hear about world records being broken, but we less often see a face behind the achievement. These folks are left as faceless answers at trivia or the name in a headline. But thanks to photographer Ryan Schude and his portraits of Guinness World Records holders (from 2007 to 2017), we get a sense of who these special people (and animals) are.

Many of Shude’s portraits have an exaggerated feel to them that, conceptually, complements the record holder and their title. After all, these people have out-sized achievements, so it only makes sense that the settings feature some over-the-top elements. Darlene Flynn, who made the Guinness World Records for an exceptionally large collection of shoe-related items, is practically hidden among all of her pumps, boots, and heel-shaped furniture. Other images don’t have quite as much set dressing, but that’s because the feat is already visually over-the-top. Getti Kehayova’s extra-large hula hoop practically takes up the entire photo.

Each portrait was a different experience to shoot, but there is one record holder that stands out to the photographer. “Barrington Irving's world record (as of 2007, since broken again) of becoming the youngest person as well as the first person of color and first Jamaican to ever circumnavigate the globe in a solo flight left a lasting impression,” Shude admits to My Modern Met.

“The mental and physical excellence required to make this journey was astounding to hear about firsthand. In many instances, his life was in danger and to accomplish this at a time (24 years old) when most of us are just starting to figure out what to do with our lives is incredible. He continues to run a non-profit flight school for young, minority pilots called Experience Aviation.”

Scroll down to see more Guinness World Records holders. And for even more of Schude’s work, check out his book aptly titled Schude.

Photographer Ryan Schude reveals the faces (and pizza) behind Guinness World Record holders.

Portraits of World Record Holders Highlight the People Behind Their Feats

Barrington Irving, 24: Youngest Person to Circumnavigate the World Solo, Miami, Florida

World Record Holder

“OMGitsfirefoxx” Sonja Reid: Most Followed Female on Twitch, Santa Clarita, California

Portraits of World Record Holders Highlight the People Behind Their Feats

Annie Leung: Guitar Hero High Score, Santa Monica, California

World Record Holder

Benny Harlem: Largest High Top Fade, Los Angeles, California

World Record Holder

The Glendale Cheerleading Squad: Most People Crammed Into A Smart Car, Glendale, California

World Record Holder

Getti Kehayova: Largest Hula Hoop Spun by a Female, Las Vegas, Nevada

World Record Holder

Darlene Flynn: Largest Collection of Shoe Related Items, Temecula, California

World Record Holder

Ron Wade: Largest Collection of American Presidential Memorabilia, Longview, Texas

World Record Holder

Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria: Largest Commercially Available Pizza, Hollywood, California

World Record Holder

Rick Baker: Most Academy Awards for Makeup Artist, Glendale, California

World Record Holder

Samantha Larson, 18: Youngest Person to Climb the Highest Summits on All 7 Continents, Soda Springs, California

World Record Holder

Romulus: Tallest Donkey, Waxahatchie, Texas

World Record Holder

Harbor: Longest Ears on a Dog, Vail, Colorado

World Record Holder

Colonel Meow: Longest Fur on a Cat, West Hollywood, California

World Record Holder

Abbey: Longest Wave Surfed by a Dog, San Diego, California

Ryan Schude: Website | Instagram | Behance

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Ryan Schude.

Related Articles:

This Woman Broke the Guinness World Record for the Largest Afro

Woman With World’s Longest Legs Embraces Her Uniqueness and Inspires Others

China Creates World’s Largest Ball Pit with One Million Balls

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content