Photography Spotlight – Scott Norris
We always say less is more – And it’s so true! The simplest photos are often the most beautiful photos. Minimal compositions are a powerful way to create an eye-catching photo. So how do you get this minimal look in your photos? We asked and interviewed minimalist photographer Scott Norris. A native Texan who lives in Milwaukee with his family, Scott captures a feeling and mood in simple things like architecture, still life, and everyday objects.
Full interview below:
What is your photography style?
What do I call my style? That is a good and difficult question to answer. I guess when I boil everything down, I try to capture the mood or emotion in what I photograph. And I’ll photograph just about anything that strikes me – landscapes, architecture, still life, abstract, etc. As of late, I’m on a big minimalist kick – keeping the image as simple as possible. So for right now, perhaps you could call it moody minimalist.
Do you have a favorite photographer or artist? And do they inspire your work in any way?
I’m inspired by all kinds of art – photography, painters, musicians, etc. It is so hard to pick just one. As my
style changes with time, so does my inspiration. I’m constantly checking out books, going to the museum, and
browsing Google images for inspiration
But if I had to pick out a few that stand out, they are photographers Trey Ratcliff of StuckinCustoms.com &
theArcanum.com and AD Wheeler from theexplorographer.com & theArcanum.com and painter Edward
I’ve been following Trey’s work for about 10 years and am constantly wowed by his awesome HDR and travel
photography. It was his work that inspired me to pick up my camera again (digital this time) after a long hiatus
from shooting. He also founded The Arcanum: The Magical Academy of Artistic Mastery a couple years ago. I
started out as an apprentice there are now I am a Master there with my own set of students.
AD Wheeler is a landonscape and travel photographer whom I admire greatly. The stories he tells through
both his photographs and words are amazing and inspiring. He also happens to be my old photography Master
in the Arcanum. I would not be where I am today artistically without him.
Since the first time I saw Hopper’s painting Nighthawks, I have been enamored with his work. I love the
simplicity of his compositions as well as the mood and emotion. Looking at how a painter, like Hopper,
chooses a subject, color palette, and composition can greatly enhance a photographer’s own skill set.
What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Nikon D700, a D70, and sometimes a Droid Turbo.
Where do you find your inspiration?
As I said before, I’m inspired by just about any form of art – music, photography, painting, dance, pop culture,
everyday life. There is something extraordinary in just about everything around us. Finding it is all a matter of
perspective and mindset.
What kind of editing do you do? And what editing programs do you recommend to other photographers?
I do quite a bit of processing on almost every image I create. Sometimes I’ll spend several hours on one
image. I try to capture as much as I can in camera, but I always think of the RAW file as just the base layer on
which I build to the final image. Lots and lots of layers, adjustments, masks, plug-ins – everything but the kitchen
sink! It all depends on what mood or emotion I want to portray.
I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop (along with a TON of plugins) on every image I process and I strongly
I’ve been with FAA since 2011 and honestly, I don’t remember how I found it! As far as what feature is most
useful, that’s a tough one because there are so many great features. But I guess since selling art is the goal
here, the ease of uploading and pricing the work would be the most helpful to me. Once the default price list is
created, everything else just falls into place!
Do you shoot photography fulltime? If not what other work do you do?
I am a part-time photographer at the moment. In addition to teaching at The Arcanum, I also do freelance 3D
animation, motion graphics, and special effects.
What is the best advice you received?
Follow your gut, the only photographer you should compare yourself to is the one you were yesterday.
View Scott’s full photography collection here.
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