I was recently interviewed by a journalist from Asian Photography Magazine for the "Pro-Profile" section of their October 2010 edition. The magazine is on newsstands now, so I thought I'd share a bit of the article here.
The journalist had some very good questions for me, and it was enjoyable to speak with her about photography. We covered many topics during the hour we chatted at my studio in September, such as...
How I got my start in photography: "Scott learnt photography from his father when he was very young. He grew up in a house full of photography. His dad taught him how to compose [an image] and how to interpret light."
How I began taking photography more seriously in the mid-to-late 1990s: "'[W]hen I came to Asia, I had a film camera with me and this whole new world opened up to me'. He fell in love with the colours, the foods, the rituals, the religion and everything that was a part of Asia... He started capturing everything on film."
And the catalyst that pushed me from the corporate marketing world to establishing my own creative photography business in 2004/05: "[His] plunge into
photography started in 2004. 'On my [30th] birthday, I was having a kind of mid-life crisis… and I felt like my 20s had just slipped by, I didn’t know where they had gone. I went to this dinner and there were all these people who I didn’t know and... somebody asked a question... if you had enough money that you never had to get out of bed to go to work, what would you do then? And my answer was [that I would] travel around the world and take pictures. And I had never said that out loud. I had thought of it, but I had never verbalised it. That was my answer to what I should be doing with my life.'"
The writer goes on to explain more about my transition from working for a multinational company to working for myself: "Scott has no regrets of working in the corporate world for eight years before his photography career hit-off. He treasures [that] experience... and the relationships that he made. It gave him an opportunity [to learn] how to build a brand."
She explains how I first started commercializing my photography, and eventually was able to monetize my hobby: "His philosophy when he started off was, no job is too small... and you never know if you'll like doing a certain kind of photography until you try it." This approach actually ended-up landing me my early
commercial assignments. As the author explains, when I first started my small business, I used to take a lot of family portraits, to practice photographing people and earn some money. "Shooting families and kids actually got him one of his first advertising jobs, which was for Johnson & Johnson. He mentions that, 'I had a certain style that they liked; it was a sensitive, intimate approach to that type of work"'.
The author touches briefly on how my style and approach to my work differs depending on my various assignments, from editorial reportage: "Choose your own adventure... just me and my camera".
...to fashion: "Cinematic... what I want to do is tell stories... separately, [they are] beautiful pictures, but if you look at them together, you will find a bit of narrative, a bit of a story".
...to advertising: "Extremely collaborative... [but] the creative process is not meant to be easy. It is filled with conflict. It is push 'n' pull. I like someone pushing me to get better at this".
Finally, the writer wraps-up with some of my advice to aspiring photographers: “Keep practicing, because there
is nothing that is perfect. ‘This keeps me going: the desire to make the perfect photograph. But you never can. There is always something when you look back at it, you feel, I wish that was different’. So he [recommends] practice and to find a genre of photography that you like and create a style [for yourself]. Have a signature. Try not to get discouraged. It’s a competitive market. Look at the works of people you admire and try to emulate [them], and then develop your own personal style. At the end of the day, you have to be passionate about what you do, because if you don’t have passion for your work, nobody else will.’”
In a word, I guess that's what photography is all about: passion.
It's why I left my comfortable corporate life to chase my dream.
It's why I struggle with the uncertainty and challenges (big and small) of running my own business.
It's why I push myself to be more creative, to try and make better and more compelling imagery.
And it's why I love every minute of it.