OMP Pro-File: Photographer Scott Church

Scott Church (OMP Member #6995) has worked as a professional photographer for almost 20 years, or as he puts it, “Longer than a good number of models on your site have been alive! Damn, do i sound grizzled or what?”

The Pennsylvania resident is a Desert Storm combat vet who started his career as a photographer for the US Navy. Today, he specializes in fine art glamour portraits and nudes. He relates, “I shoot people almost exclusively. They have been my passion and the subject of my artwork for my entire career.”

Scott’s portfolio displays a great variety of both color and black & white images. “Each image has its own story to tell. Sometimes an image just works better without the color complicating it, and sometimes the color finishes it all. I just look at the shot both ways, and whatever I think works best for the shot is the final choice.”

As far as prep time, Scott says he usually doesn’t know what each client looks like till they walk through the studio door. “I love that moment of anticipation! It’s a good feeling to know that no matter what I’m presented with, I will do my best and make them happy. My makeup artist/assistant Sara is my rock — she is the one that breaks down all the walls with new clients. But I have never been a big pre-planning guy. I shoot from the hip all day long.”

Because he travels so much, One Model Place has helped Scott book shoots ahead of time. “OMP’s travel notifications have become a much-used commodity. In the past year alone, the notices have found me clients in New York, Washington DC, Florida, Atlanta, Chicago, South Carolina, Dallas, New Mexico, and three trips to London. Also, the notifications put my work in front of local models as well. It is an invaluable resource, and I have really made the most of using them.”

Scott’s first book of photography, entitled “thirty pieces of silver,” was published in 1999. Since then he has published five more books, including “trashglamour,” “good luck in hell,” revelation,” a retrospective book called “Infimis,” and a book of male models called “men” which was released last year with a majority of the profits going to AIDS Charities in NYC. “I love the thought of knowing that I have truly created something that will outlive me, the minute the first one sells it is out there forever, and I have been very luck to have sold quite a few all over the world.”

He offers the following advice for photographers just starting out. “Shoot constantly, make mistakes, and learn from them. There is no real way to truly learn this job if you are not doing it everyday. Also, find places to show your work where people can comment on it, and take the critiques.” For photographers who want to get their work published, he cautions, “No one will publish your work if they don’t get to see it. Submit, show, sell! The more people that get to see what you do, the more opportunities will present themselves.”

Scott has observed many changes in the industry over the years. “The industry is so much more open now than it was I got started. There are so many more opportunities given to beginners, so take advantage of all of them, and milk the system for all it’s worth. If you want a career, make a career, no one will give it to you. There are much better photographers out there than me who don’t have half the career that I do. I am who I am, and I have what I have because I work my ass off everyday to get it. I only compete with myself, and I try my best to kick my own ass all the damn time!”

Check out Scott’s online portfolio at OMP Member 6995

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