August 31st, 2017
Looking at the work of photographer Brian Scott invokes the feelings of getting drunk alone, longing for someone, and getting sad. The shapes, shadows, reflections and muted colours give the images a dark subtext. It feels like a summer ad for patio lanterns and summer fun but the subject is alone, not partying and not having any fun. I feel for these poor tortured souls and it feels like they feel for me. In this moment it’s just me and them sharing our mutual feelings. It’s beautiful, emotional photography that leaves a lasting impression.
Where are you from?
I'm from North New Jersey area, near Morristown.
How did you get started in Photography?
It's a little hard to say. I've been doing art my whole life, from writing to painting and anything in-between. My two main loves are photography and writing though, and I think (at least for myself) they tend to go hand in hand. However, I've been on and off in the photo world for at least 13 years. It came somewhere from taking art and photo classes in high school and then having a crappy little digital camera that I was always taking photos with. I was the only one in my group always with a camera in hand during parties, trips, etc. It all slowly came together somewhere between all of that. These days, I actually wish I took those classes more seriously, but some stuff stayed in my mind throughout it all and even till now.
How would you describe your work?
I've considered myself an artist all my life. I actually still don't really like to call myself a photographer (even though my main creative side comes with camera in hand). For me, personally, my work reflects a lot of the darker things in life (such as addiction, abandonment, etc.). I do like to think that I try to give my work a little a bit of a lighter and hopeful side to the darker things in life. That's what I'm about, trying to find something positive or a little bit lighter side to the darker things that we go through in life. I think I'm getting closer and closer to those ideas and that's become something of my target at this point in life.
What do you see when you capture a moment?
For me, honestly, everything happens in the moment, even if I'm looking for something particular. From talking to many other people over the years, my head seems to work in its own different way. Normally, I look at everything around me as if it’s a video in my mind or frame by frame, but it comes down to looking for or seeing that one small element around me and then everything builds off that as I go along. As simple as how the sun hits a wall a certain way and it reflects onto something else - I notice those small details and if hits me a certain way, I start going from there and I just keep building and building off that.
What equipment do you use and why that particular brand or type?
I'm very limited in my gear, but over the years, I'd rather it be that way. My two cameras as of now are my main - Nikon d7100 and my back up being a Nikon d40. Other than that, I don't have much else or use much else.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Everywhere! I've been looking more towards tv shows and movies recently, but everything inspires me. I'm not just a photographer, but I'm a writer as well, but - I also paint and draw and a lot of other things. All of it comes from whatever I'm going through in life or what I'm trying to deal with personally, but inspiration strikes from anywhere and anything.
How long does a shoot typically take?
Generally, a shoot lasts maybe a couple of hours. There's been times it’s gone much longer, too. The typical amount is a couple hours and then I think it all depends on everyone involved, the timing and weather and any other circumstances that may pop up.
If you had a super power what would it be? Would you be a hero or a villain?
Honestly, I'd love to be able to just take off and fly! I'd personally like to say a hero, but I'd probably be considered a villain anyway! My best intentions are always there, but they tend to go wrong, so I could see being the underdog sort of hero trying to figure it out or you know, people just calling me the bad guy! Ha!
Do you edit your own photos?
Yes, I absolutely do!
What's the biggest challenge you've overcome with your photography?
Honestly, the last year or so, I've been getting more and more personal in what I make. Things I've always wanted to do, but was afraid of showing, because I think I go darker than others. It's made all the difference in the world though! Finally feeling free to put all of myself into my work was always the missing link and I think that’s so important to any photographer or artist. Not having that fear of whatever I make and put out there anymore is such a beautiful and freeing feeling.
What's the best compliment you've received about your photography?
I get a lot of awesome words and compliments, but nothing beats seeing your work get featured somewhere! Or a fellow artist and inspiration, actually commenting or messaging you! I think that’s always mind-bending to me - someone you look up to and/or are inspired by actually trying to contact you in any way to give you some awesome words on your work.
Also, the fact that it's taken a long time to get to the work I'm doing now, but whenever anyone asks to work with me is unbelievable! I think that falls into this question as well.
If you weren't a photographer what job would you have?
I honestly have no idea! I've been working as a cook for the last year or so and it’s been a blast! Other than photography and creating, I honestly have no idea who I’d be or where I’d be.
What's the best single piece of advice you'd give to new photographers?
Just keep going! Be true to yourself and do what makes you happy. Especially these days and social media, don't get sucked up into all of that. Keep going, keep learning and find what you like. You're not going to have it all figured out. I think your message and style and such - they grow with you. You don't need to chase those things, they find you and don't worry if they change. You're human, you change and so will your work! So will your ideas, messages and styles. Just keep trying anything and everything and don't be afraid of any sort of new challenges and ideas! I've been shooting for at least 13 years and I'm only now beginning to do more of the work that I’d personally like to be doing and making! I've also been on my own for a long time, I'm mostly self-taught and mostly figuring it all out on my own. It’s actually only been the last year that I've been meeting with and working with other photographers and models! It takes time.
I personally believe that if you put your heart into everything you do and stick with it, you'll find your way. Trends, styles and such, they don't last long. It's better to follow your own heart, your own eyes and be true to you.
Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies? Or some other snack?
Oreos win here! Especially fried Oreos!!