We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Vo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scott, why did you pursue a creative career?
I went after a creative career because I really enjoy having a creative outlet. My mind is naturally creative and I have a little logical side as well. Photography was not something I knew I wanted to do till I was halfway through undergrad at university. I was obtaining my degree in the medical field and my goals were to apply/attend medical school after I completed my undergrad. I used photography as my creative outlet when I wanted to take a break from my studies. As graduation approached, I started wondering if I should dedicate the time and energy to immediately go to medical school or think more on it. Keeping up with my photography was very important to me because I was able to feed my creative side while I was in an enriched logical environment. I went back to university and studied to become a surgeon’s assistant to see if I would enjoy that path. After graduation, I assisted in open heart surgery for years and I absolutely loved it. Photography was always there and I kept learning and practicing my craft. My portfolio started to get recognized and I had large corporate companies reach out to me for photography work. I strongly believe in synchronicity and this opportunity was something I could not ignore. I resigned my position in the hospital and pursued my creative photography career full time. Fast forward, my creative side finally got to be released and I opened my own studio called STUDIO V.
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.
The journey to where I am today was definitely not easy. I strongly believe that hard work does pay out and making fine focus adjustments can gain you success. Leaving a stable medical career was a difficult challenge in itself. As a photographer, I think having creative personal projects really exercises your mindset. What I am known for are the portraits of models I photograph underwater. I am physically underwater with the models without scuba tanks and capture dreamlike portraits. It was a creative project I dreamt up and I just had to try it myself. It has really elevated my craft and got me international recognition in the photography community. My creative underwater portraits have been published in magazines, printed in catalogs, and hung in contemporary museums. It was not an overnight success and I did face harsh criticisms about my work.
My favorite photographs are from ones I do for myself. I conceptualize them, build on them, and capture them. The projects that I do for myself help me stay creative and build a strong foundation I can present to my clients. People in the creative field always talk about how an ideal client is the one that pays the asking rate and lets you do what you really want to do. With the foundation of creativity I’ve built, I do get dream clients that often let my imagination take over. I absolutely love the respect and collaboration that is built when everything lines up.
A valuable lesson I heard and try to implement is to not compare and listen to the chatter that goes around your industry. With social media being the powerhouse it is today, it is easy to drown in the noise and be overwhelmed by other creative’s posts. I sometimes feel like it is FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and there is this sudden need to want to post just to stay relevant on social media. A wise person told me, the creative ones posting all day and every day must not be busy. The busy creatives out there creating don’t have time to sit on social media all day. Haha. I chuckle when I think of that.
Keep your head down, focus, put your heart and soul into your work, and just tune out the chatter. You are a creative. Create!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh, this is difficult to answer. Is my friend creative? Introverted? Extroverted? Adventurous?
I would get some breakfast at Cafe Kacao.
We have to make our way to the studio of course so I can take a 4×5 film portrait!
Relax and have some nice conversations and cocktails.
Drive around town to check out where the locals hang out and shop.
Check out an art museum or landmarks.
Go to Jimmy B’s for dinner! (My wife and I love this place!)
Finish out the night with meaningful conversations and good memories.
I am very simple…my best friend would just have to endure the torture of good food with me!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My career would not be possible without the friends/family and clients that have supported me since day one. I have clients that have been with me since the beginning of my career and they have followed me without hesitation. I would change my practice and increase my rates, and my clients loyally stuck with me. During the largest transition of my career, I was paralyzed with self doubt and my wife supported and strengthened me during this process. The studio and myself would not be here at this caliber without the help and incredible support from my lovely wife.