You may or may not already know who Scott is. Scott is actually a fantastic photographer, but you probably know his as Chase Jarvis’ right hand man. As I mentioned scott is an amazing photographer who creates the images he does out of pure hard work. Some may say he is extremely luck (especially when you read his favourite gear section) but again this can only be put down to hard work. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a 33 year old photographer and outdoor junkie based in Seattle, Washington. I dig life. It’s been made very sweet by my wife, photography, nature, sports, and living creatively. I spend my days working with the amazing team at Chase Jarvis Inc. doing all things visual, then run to the hills when the work week is finished to set my sights on the great outdoors.
My photographic method is immersive and minimal. I incorporate photography into adventures. I carry a very small kit and try to cover as much ground as possible on foot, skis and bikes. It is through this kinetic mode that I find my images, or they find me.
What made you get into photography?
Contrary to conventional wisdom, going into photography was for me the safe thing to do. For my whole life I had dreamed of being an extreme skier. By the time I was in my early twenties, this singular goal of mine had been fulfilled. I was sponsored by some of the best companies in skiing, was traveling around the world to ski and was appearing in all of the magazines I had read religiously as a kid.
I feel blessed to say that I did not suffer any major injuries during this era, but I did lose friends, had a couple of close calls with avalanches and gradually developed the sense that I was playing with a loaded gun and that I either had to scale back my skiing or end up in serious trouble.
I decided I could tolerate a bit less objective danger, but that I would still need to live a life full of adventure, creativity, exploration and a healthy dose of the great outdoors. Photography became the key to this balanced life.
How did you get started?
My high school photography class with my dad’s Pentax gave me the bare essentials. After that, I put the artform on the back burner while I devoted myself to skiing. I returned to photography one summer as a ready set of hands for a commercial job being shot by a young Chase Jarvis. He and I met on opposite sides of the lens during a shoot for a ski magazine and became fast friends and collaborators.
For a few years I worked at photography in the summer and skiing in the winter. When my wife and I got married, I tipped the scales and photography has been the focus of my career since. Our three month honeymoon in Southeast Asia was a photo safari of sorts for me, and I returned to Seattle full of inspiration and ready to devote my entire energy to the craft.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I spend my work week as the right hand man to photographer and director Chase Jarvis. In this capacity I do everything from shooting and retouching stills to concepting and shooting video to creating fine art installations to assisting in the direction of broadcast commercials to writing blog posts for an increasingly massive and passionate audience.
I spend as many remaining hours as I can manage in the mountains where my deepest passions combine. I try to work in a realm that is unique to the combined skillsets I’ve developed. Namely, traveling quickly and safely through some very rugged and potentially dangerous terrain combined with a photographic eye honed by working for ten years at one of the most prolific studios in the country. My goal is to combine an artful rendering of nature at it’s most grand with human powered modes of transportation that inspire and evoke a feeling of freedom and solitude.
What gear are you using?
While I have free reign of all of the equipment in my studio, my most constant companion is my Olympus EP-3 Micro 4/3 kit. It takes a bit of getting used to shooting with such a small camera and lenses, but the image quality stands up to many far larger cameras. Most importantly, I find that I am willing and able to carry this camera with me everywhere I travel.
The kit is made up of the E-P3 body, the Olympus 14-150 lens, the Olympus 9-18 lens, the VF-1 Viewfinder, and some batteries and cards.
For less remote environments I shoot the Nikon D3s.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
I think the Nikon 70-200 2.8 is the most spectacular combination of electronics and glass I’ve ever handled. It just behaves exactly as you would dream a lens would.
How are you marketing yourself?
I share photography almost every day through Google+, Facebook, and 500px.com. I find that the most important factor in today’s landscape is recency. If you’re not producing and sharing work with great regularity, it’s shocking how fast you fall off of people’s radars.
I am also able to share much of my professional expertise through guest posts on the Chase Jarvis blog.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
This photo of a party of skiers climbing the Coleman Glacier on Mount Baker in Washington State is my current favorite photo. It is a panorama stitched together from 12 vertical frames. It perfectly reflects the grandeur of the environment and the small and temporary, yet impactful mark that humans can make on the natural scale.
I’ve tossed in a couple of other favorites as well.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Follow your gut. There is no possible way I could have drawn a map of my career path 15 years ago. The only constant has been a pursuit of things that invoke genuine passion in me. Sometimes it feels like blind faith is all I’m working with, but every step has opened more doors than I could have thought possible. You’ll know when you’re on the right track for yourself. Follow that track fearlessly.