We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Elgram and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scott, what role has risk played in your life or career?
When I think about risk I try to think about what it is that I’m risking and whether or not that risk is worth the reward…a little cliché I know but still I think it’s totally true. If the risk is too great then you need to find a new \different way to do it. That being said, when it comes to my art, my photography, I have to think about what I’m actually risking. When I started to put my work out there I risked rejection, ridicule…all that inner critique stuff that keeps a lot of people back. But for me, none of that really matters, I just wanted to expose the world to my vision. So there really wasn’t much risk at all. I think in a lot of aspects beyond just a persons art that’s still true…people put a lot of pressure on themselves around acceptance. But I think if people just look at the risk in terms of what fills their heart they’ll see that their really not risking much.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As I mentioned before, Photography has changed my life beyond measure. When I was younger I was a pretty outdoorsy kid. I was in Boy Scouts, I am an Eagle Scout. But later in life I got preoccupied by the 9-to-5 grind and making payments and bills and all of that stuff and kind of lost touch with that side. I camped every once in a while with friends and it always made me think about how much I loved it and wanted to do it more…but I never did. When I found Photography it was like a shade was lifted and I could finally see a purpose and, really, a reason to get me out like I wanted. I have seen and done so much in just the few years I’ve been a landscape photographer than most of the time before. After I took those few first photographs I remember feeling excited about how this could be a new creative outlet for myself. A new way for me to express myself. So I wanted to make it a thing in my life and part of that was getting it out into the world. I knew at the time that it wouldn’t be easy, it would involve a lot of work and a big learning curve. But I get jazzed about that sort of stuff an dove right in. I started with mostly beaches, beach sunsets and the ocean which holds a special place in my heart. I also tried to think of and do whatever I could think of to get those photos out…website, Instagram…anything. It was complete emersion really, I signed up of mailing lists, new letters…anything to get my head into the photography community. You have to do that if your starting something new, from ground zero. After that it’s just been persistence and continuously learning, adapting and honing skills. When I’m out in the field photographing places I love to look for for that hidden geometry that nature likes to put in things. I’m also a sucker for beautiful light and when those two things line up it really gets my creative mind going. I’m just in such aw at the things that nature creates. When I photograph something I try to put into that image the emotion that I felt in that moment and I hope that comes across when people view my work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
That’s easy, the Eastern Sierras. That whole area is so stunningly beautiful with endless places to visit that always blow my mind with their beauty.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve always felt that the universe was pushing me in a certain direction. I don’t know where that direction will lead but when I encounter new people or experiences I like to think “Ok!, what is the universe trying to teach or show me hear?…what can I learn from this?” So the person I would give a shout out to would be my girlfriend. She’s literally the one that put a camera in my hand and told me to try taking a picture. So without her I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today and I probably wouldn’t be doing photography which has changed my life beyond measure.
Photo of Scott Elgram on Lava Rocks credit Sarah Burall