Scott is one of those fortunate people who has done something they love their entire working career and that is be a photographer. Horses have been the primary subject of his efforts, and he has been able to travel the world capturing their beauty and essence. His style embodies an artists understanding of light and a tactile emotional portrayal of his subjects.
While horses have been the primary subject, his work is not limited to just that area. He also does commercial work including architectural, fashion, portraiture and travel journals. His locations have been worldwide ranging from ghettos to palaces and everything in between!
His services include promotional photography, videography, editorial, lectures and seminars.
Scott Trees is based in Texas
The horse came first, quarter horses and Arabians growing up.
Started with a Minolta SRT 101. Developed black and white in the bathroom.
Started a party picture business for fraternities and Sororities and it paid for his college education.
First foray into equine photography was an “A” Arabian show in Pueblo Colorado. Shooting black and white and processing in a rented trailer with a friend.
Started doing some 16mm film work for a company working with horses.
1983 Did some work for a disbursement sale for a very large Arabian breeding farm. Did some of the first “at liberty” shooting.
Then everything started coming to him as fast as he could handle it. There were only 3-4 photographers doing all the work. Shooting medium format cameras. For every job he accepted there were 3 he had to refuse.
Today is very different. Went through the digital change over. At 65 he is in the last phase of his career. It used to be that he had the best gear at any shoot, but today, there will be several people with equipment better than him. Now people think good-enough is acceptable. Very competitive in a dwindling market as breed registries are seeing fewer and fewer horses.
Does a lot of video now. It’s an area that new photographers need to become competent in.
VHS then DVDs then Online Streaming. He has done all of these.
Current project working with Arabian breed with video to tell different stories about this versatile and interesting breed. Telling the good story about Arabians. With video you have to consider how the story is being told.
Scott has gone back and forth between video and still as each goes up and down in demand. There is a different art involved in motion.
Snapshot of his business now
1/3 photography, 1/3 video, 1/3 teaching
80% Horse photography / When he was working in Dubai, it was only 40% horses.
As a new photographer you had better be able to adjust to change over and over. Marketing is constantly changing as well. You must be able to perform on-demand and produce a quality product for your customers if you expect to be paid.
Horses have been the engine that pulled the train of his photography business. Niche’ is very important. You have to KNOW the area that you photograph. Specialty brought me to other work. Example with a story from Dubai.
Goes to horse shows to network. Does not do shows. Be careful that you don’t take on work that you are not prepared to perform well for. Taking on a national “A” horse show as your first project could ruin your entire career in the horse world if you don’t deliver. This includes meeting the expectations of the particular kind of event that you are photographing.
Photography today can be a TIME monster. We used to send off our film and it would come back. Now we spend hours and hours on the computer being the lab for ourselves.
Package online education in photography available at certain times of the year. Also does on-location teaching. Heads up the Sombrero Ranch Equine Photography workshops. Now he is trying out some classroom only teaching events. Two days: Fundamentals of still equine photography and Fundamentals of video for equine photography. Classroom can be as many as want to come. On-location workshops need to be limited in number to be more effective.
Gigi: Workshops are very valuable for her. Hands-on is how she finds the most effective learning.
Scott: THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO LEARN IN PHOTOGRAPHY.
Last question: Tell us about how you are lighting horses these days.
Most people are shooting horses are outdoors. Learn the color and direction of the light. Shoot morning or evening. Lighting and shadow give the picture depth and the look of 3 D look. Open shadow also has direction. Sometimes uses reflectors. Doesn’t use on camera fill flash which creates a flat image. Setting up lighting around horses is difficult because horse MOVE.
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