Interview Series: Scott Garrison

Photographer Scott Garrison captures climactic moments seemingly straight out of a real-life cartoon. Every single one of his stunning images is full of movement and recognizable by his signature manic “guy’s guy tongue-and-cheek” humor. His highly-amped, imaginative style is on the prowl for high-end exposure, and the latest buzz surrounding this rising star is that he’s the new David LaChapelle circa 2010. A breath of fresh escapism.

Learning most of what he knows by working as a camera assistant in the film industry and from what really makes us evolve – trial and error – Garrison approaches each of his shoots “like I was about to shoot a movie,” he says. Looking at landscapes and black and white street photography pretty much makes him cringe. Dazzling people with Photoshop skills is not his cup of tea, and he thinks that composition is a last ditch effort to make the image cool. Garrison strongly believes that if there is something to capture on the camera, it should be done right then and there. “High end cameras that lend themselves to glorified snapshots and white backgrounds which catch your attention only for a few seconds before you flip the page is basically photography with nothing to look at,” he claims. He strives to stretch that first glance into an hour of discovery and to keep his audience coming back to the shot to find new jokes or elements they had missed before.

“The material I create is nearly a complete opposite of my outward personality, there’s something beneath the surface that’s bubbling up and without a creative faucet flowing, I might explode,” says our new-found love. Garrison visually co-exists with two default styles: portraits and group shots. He’s inspired by 16th and 17th century portrait artists that painted faces, yet told stories through the items and actions surrounding their subjects. As far as his group shots, which are usually on the brink of insanity, he likes to capture the moment of climax from, let’s say, the perspective of a drug addled onlooker. Impressive production value is a top-notch element he throws into each photo; the cameras in his Paparazzi series set a good example of this, and so is the police car in his Police Cute-Tality series.

TBD Title, by Scott Garrison, insert year

“I’m not a typical photographer, I’ve never studied for it, nor am I familiar with the names and great works of the masters. I’m generally uneducated formally, names and dates don’t stick with me, but only physical and technical actions. I wear my ignorance like a badge of honor,” he told us proudly.

Garrison’s innate talent matches his instinct, making us think that his work is more complex than a simple click of his camera. I am manifesting being a guest on his next shoot to see the jokes and the magic.

L’Agent Goodies…