Fresh Art – September: Photographer Scott Harris
Words by Erick Altimari
Published September 1, 2016
This month’s Fresh Art highlights photographer, Scott Harris, best known for being a house photographer at the legendary Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, as well as his work for The Brooklyn Bowl, Relix, and JamBase, just to name a few. Harris is originally from Bridgeport, Connecticut, and went on to graduate from Syracuse University. This self taught photographer took some time to explain a little bit more about himself.
ShowTheShow: Please share a little more about yourself. What is your background, and what helped you choose photography as an artistic medium?
Scott Harris: Hey, man – my pleasure! Photography. Well, I sort of picked it up randomly a couple years ago. My undergrad was in graphic arts and digital imaging technology and I’ve got a Masters in TV, Radio and Film, so I’ve studied related fields, but I’ve never taken a photography class in my life. When Instagram came out it provided an imminently accessible creative outlet and platform and basically sparked the interest for me – especially in concert photography since I was going to shows anyway. At first, I was mostly just posting blurry-ish Phish shots, but as I got the hang of things (and better cameras) it steamrolled from there. Since 2013, I’ve been shooting for The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY and Brooklyn Bowl and many of the music publications that cover the jam scene. It’s been a mind-blowing ride.
STS: Maybe you can best describe either where you are right now or where you just came from?
SH: So right now I’m down in Virginia; a bunch of friends all rented this this crazy beautiful historic 60 acre estate offsite for Lockn’ this past weekend. Trees, rolling hills, mountain ranges, blue skies, starry nights and incredible people; just serenity everywhere. The vibe here has been fantastic and a perfect juxtaposition to the chaos that is a major festival.
STS: Can you describe how your emotion translates into your photographs? Do you have any specific examples?
SH: Absolutely. Whether I’m photographing a concert or a party or a sunset, whatever, every environment has its own energy. With my photography I try to capture the energy and emotion of the experience; if someone looks at one of my shots and feels even a bit like they’ve shared in it, I’ve done something right.
STS: Can you talk a little about your favorite experience while photographing an event and why?
SH: I love roaming deep in the crowd at shows. Whether it’s 100 people or 100,000 – being surrounded by people raging in harmony to incredible music – that collective energy is simply infectious.
STS: Given the large field of Event Photographers, what do you feel gives you an edge?
SH: You know, honestly, I don’t believe in edge. We have so many ridiculously talented photographers in this scene offering so many unique perspectives – you can never have too much art. I just try and go out and do my thing, my way. Beyond grateful for, and overwhelmed by, the reception my work has received from people.
STS: What, if any, advice would you give to a beginning photographer trying to break into the scene?
SH: My advice to beginning photogs is just get out there and shoot; social media makes it much easier to get exposure than just a few years ago – don’t even worry about that. I had no clue this was my thing until I tried. Oh yeah, and always have fun with it.
For more information on Scott Harris, please visit his official website.