Conceptualise and co-create – that’s the hallmark of creative photographer and EOS Professional, John Scott.

EOS Professional John Scott

First off, can you tell us about yourself and how you started in creative photography?

I started my career as a photographer by chance really. I was a young Art Director dreaming up concepts and creative campaigns. On my travels through Shinjuku in Japan, I stumbled into the giant camera/electronics store (Yodobashi). I had been using a really old Canon point and shoot camera. This camera was not built for how I used it but it did such a great job and was always reliable. So while I was standing in Yodobashi I thought it was about time to upgrade my camera. It was there that I purchased the Canon IXY Digital.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II | ISO 200| F/8 | 1/125s

I captured many great moments with this little camera, which I soon upgraded to the Canon EOS 450D (Canon EOS Rebel XSi) with a Canon EF S17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens that I won in a photo competition in Australia. This was my first real start at photography. 

My day job was Art Director where I found myself dealing with many photographers in different fields. Because of my personal interest and love of crafting images, I found that I would work with photographers more collaboratively rather than purely rely on them to bring my creative visions to life.

At what point did you realise that creative photography is what you wanted to do as a career? 

After working with different photographers, different crews, filming, shooting, editing, and retouching I realised that I really enjoyed crafting the final vision as much as conceptualising it. I started to then look at producing concepts myself or working closely with the photographer to co-create my creative direction.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II | ISO 250| F/11 | 1/125s

My breakthrough moment was the time I created a simple but one of my favourite photos taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, a Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS II USM, a Canon Speedlite 430EX III-RT, a black bedsheet, 1 x dumbbell and a lot of yellow powder. The image was a great success (in my opinion) and was one of the moments I knew I wanted to move forward on this path.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II | ISO 200| F/2 |  1/400s

What do you always highlight in your photos?

It depends on the subject matter. But my signature would be shadows. Without shadows, the tone, contrast, and texture of a shot becomes flat to me. I prefer to build light that gives my shots directional lighting and a nice shadow. Even when shooting journalistic shots or weddings, I focus on positioning myself between the light in interesting ways.

Canon EOS 60D | ISO 200| F/8 | 1/250s

What are the challenges and problems you face today as a creative photographer – and how do you work around them?

The biggest challenges today are photographers and gear.

Everyone is a photographer nowadays. There are always different photographers and craftsmen for different projects, but collectively we need to stand proud of our craft so that we don’t devalue our industry.

Then there is photography gear. 4k, 1000million megapixel, 500 frames per second. So many cameras, so many different benefits. Some clients judge the photographer based on the gear.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II | ISO 800| F/2.8 | 1/30s

I used the Canon EOS 5D Mark II for EVERYTHING. I made sure I had good lenses (Canon EF50mm f/1.2L USM, Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, Canon EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM and a backup Canon EOS 60D) paired with my trusted Canon EOS  5D Mark II and that was it. The thing was magic! I could throw it around and the battery life lasted forever. I don’t know if it was weather proof but snow and blizzards didn’t seem to affect it.

Get over the gear, get what you need and then learn it inside out and make it work.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III | ISO 600| F/8 | 1/125s

What kind of gear do you often use when shooting for creative photography?

I use the Canon EOS 5D Mark III or Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EF24mm f/1.4L II USM, Canon EF50mm f/1.2L USM, Canon EF85mm f/1.2L II USM, Canon EF135mm f/2L USM. I like to keep the equipment to a minimum. My prime lenses are a must for any shoot. They are my go-to and absolute favourite lenses.

Canon EOS 60D | ISO 640| F/5.6 | 1/80s

Canon EOS 5D Mark II | ISO 1000| F/1.4 | 1/125s

Canon EOS 5D Mark II | ISO 200| F/8 | 1/125s

How does your gear influence your photography and your shoot?

Quality lenses are a must. But light is equally important too. I usually will create a vision for the shoot first before proceeding to my cache to select the right gear.

 Canon EOS 60D | ISO 200| F/11 | 1/60s

What advice would you give someone wanting to break into this career?

Considering a career change. Learn what you like to do (shoot). Question if you could do this all the time. Assess if you can make a career out of it.

If you know what you like, can make it a career and be creative, then pick up that camera, learn it inside out, take a shot a every day and make as many mistakes as you can. From those mistakes, you will begin to learn what makes a great shot and how to apply yourself in different situations.

Your passion and drive are what will keep you going. Oh, and never forget to K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid).

Canon EOS 5D Mark II | ISO 200| F/8 | 1/125s

Stay connected with John Scott:
Instagram (follow) –
Website (see) –
Creative Agency (inspire) –
Partner studio (collaborate) –