We had the good fortune of connecting with Mike Scott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mike, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I look at risk and see how it will affect me in the long run, either good or bad. Once I have decided if the effect of it is good I will pursue that risk but still be mindful of any issues that may come up in the process of implementing that risk. Risk has played a big part in my life and career for a very long time since the first time I decided I wanted to strike out and work for myself. I have taken risks with many other business and ventures before photography, some of those ventures are still going strong, and some I have had to take a step back and reevaluate its value in my life and decide if that risk I initially thought was a good one had come to an end, and it was time to move forward in a different direction. There is a quote by Fredrick Wilcox that sums up risks for me “Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” So take that risk and stop keeping your foot on first base.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I initially took a B&W film photography class in college as part of my bachelor’s degree and fell in love with the process of capturing images and also the process of developing that film and making prints. Once I graduated with my degree, I went on to get odd jobs and eventually would do graphic and web design freelance for many years before opening up my own apparel and graphic design business. I had a friend that needed photos so since I had the basics down I borrowed a friend’s camera and did the photoshoot for which spurred my interest back into photography. I purchased a camera and started to hone my craft and realized that I missed the process of capturing images. So while still running my business I would do photoshoots as a hobby continuously learning more and more. Once I left my business, I decided photography was going to be something that I wanted to focus most of my time on. Since I possessed the knowledge of film photography switching to digital was easier but still had to grasp concepts, thankfully I had some great friends around me that let me talk their ears off to learn the aspects of digital that I didn’t understand at the time. I learned that with anything especially photography, the best way to grasp the concepts is to just shoot and keep shooting, photography honestly is a hands-on learning process. You can read all the books, watch all the youtube videos in the world, but you actually have to take those concepts and run with them. It’s ok if they don’t work out on the first try, keep doing it over and over again and it will get more effortless. I have to remind myself of this every day, there is always something creative you can learn.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I love food, I would take them straight from sky harbor to Da Vangs on 19th ave, in my opinion, and pretty much everyone I talk to the best Vietnamese Restaurant in phoenix. Then next for just a place to hang out and chill and come in for some coffee to catch up is Jobot Coffee, it has a pleasant atmosphere and great staff. The next day take a drive up to Sedona and Payson area to get some fresh air and check out the impressive scenery and explore all that the area has. Who doesn’t enjoy retro video games from our childhood, so the next stop would be Cobra Arcade Bar. Some of the fun places to go around the valley are StarDust, Cobra pretty much any of the numerous parks around the valley.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate it to my mom and close friends that didn’t let me shy away from the crazy ideas i had and encouraging me to work for myself