We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Hays and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Scott, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
Don’t be a cliché. As a teenager I read one of those Mad Magazine sidebar quips that prevail throughout their publications… one was “Everybody is conforming to become nonconformists”. So yes, societal comfort is found in common crowds whether for good or bad… but I think what a waste of a soul, a personality, a talent or gift if it’s exactly the same as all the others. So yeah, I am all about celebrating one’s uniqueness… roads less traveled are filled with wonderment and surprise =]

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
So many miles… After studying Kodak photo books for years I spent just over a year as a forensic investigator/evidence photographer in the Chicago suburbs. Then originally trained to be an advertising photographer from the internationally acclaimed Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and was successful in advertising on the west coast for many years…. And then there were people, my final frontier, my scariest subject, my biggest fear… I shot a lot of crappy and so-so headshots for years, practiced my craft, surrounded myself with the best available makeup artists and stylists. I needed to learned the art of headshots. Headshots are not portraits nor are they candids… I began to apply advertising photography techniques to my images and like magic clients images began to make quite an impact in their success… That is so very rewarding to see. My team of makeup artists, stylists and I probably have way more fun than we should admit to… but it is damn awesome to contribute our part to the success and dreams of others. We are rockin’ a gift and hope it’s going to last a while =] We also volunteer with Phoenix based non-profit Kids in Focus… mentoring local at-risk kids through photography and creative recognition…

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Who would invite someone they cared about to Phoenix in a record hot year??? Ok, ok, got it… road trip!!! Head north… amazing wonders await you! Quaint visit to Jerome for some excellent grub, then blow through Sedona as the vortexes are all tapped out by all the tourists, enjoy Oak Creek… maybe take a dip then up to Flagstaff. Some fine dining, local music and a good nights rest. Must-see Meteor Crater to appreciate how small and really insignificant we all are, he he he. Stroll ol’ Flag district before visiting the wonders of outer space at Lowell Observatory where the stars really hang out. And we shouldn’t miss the amazing lava fields north of town… topped off by a cool ski lift ride at Snowbowl to 11,500 feet to gasp at some thin air. Then to avoid the I-17 traffic, tele-transport back to the valley… I recommend Scottsdale’s Old Town Tavern or Spokes on Southern for some local hospitality and healthy libations.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Dad, for letting me abscond with his Pentax Spotmatic II camera when I was young… Donna Tomek, my votech art teacher who let me “stay” in the darkroom to “avoid” my other classes #nosnitch 100’s of begrudging and willing camera subjects… helped me grow and I appreciate every one. My kiddos ’cause they think they have the coolest dad lol EVERBODY along the way, good and bad, helped me become someone that George Carlin would approve of =] Special shout outs to Nikki, Rahul, Leanna, Linda, Gail, Kelly Marie and in recent years Vanessa, Madi, Salpie, Tori and Bella <3

 

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Image Credits
All images Copyright 2020 Scott Hays Photography, All Rights Reserved

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