Scott Wyden Kivowitz Interview – “I don’t want to box myself into a niche corner”

Photo provided by Scott Wyden Kivowitz, used with permission - Photo by Emily Feinsod

Photo provided by Scott Wyden Kivowitz, used with permission – Photo by Emily Feinsod

On his website, Scott Wyden Kivowitz calls himself “a photographer, blogger and educator in New Jersey.” He’s also an author, father, and former band member who got to go on tour with his band. Today Scott shares about his commitment to always speak the truth when blogging, his tattoos, and the thing his music professor told him that affects everything he does.

Name and blog: Scott Wyden Kivowitz

Fun fact about you:
I love komodo dragons. I’ve only seen them behind glass, but they’re underappreciated and an endangered species, even though they’re one of the oldest living species on the planet.

Funner fact:
I have multiple tattoos including a komodo dragon, a few Shel Silverstein drawings, a satellite from the band Cave In, and my father’s initials.

Funnest fact:
I love talking geek with other geeks.

What do you think has been essential to your success so far as a photographer?
Being myself and not worrying about “making it big” has been my key for success. From day one I pledged to always speak the truth. To always keep things simple (KISS if you will) and to get my work out there, and my education out there as easily and straightforward as possible. I also decided to not hold back any “secrets” that others might have decided to try and hide. Things like how I processed a photo, or where a photo was captured.

What was something that surprised you about photography?
I knew that digital photography was going to make a big splash, but I honestly didn’t expect the drastic shift in the industry like what happened. I would say the point when Nikon released the D70 camera in 2004, everything changed into a rapid speed towards pure digital. The industry has never looked back. Yes, film is still made and many photographers still use it. But majority of clients across the spectrum of photographic niches request digital.

If you had to describe your blog in 6 words or less, what would you say?
Oddly enough I already do this: Simple, Creative, Professional, The Everyday Photographer. I use the term The Everyday Photographer because I don’t want to box myself into a niche corner. I like to try new techniques and niches and not limit myself.

Who or what inspires you? 
First, my daughter. At the time of this interview she’s just a few days shy of 9 months old. Every day she learns something new and the expressions and challenges and achievements she goes through are just inspirational. They make me want to keep doing more.

But also photographers like Zack Arias and Chase Jarvis are inspirational. In a very different way than my daughter, of course. Zack because he went through some extremely tough financial times, learned valuable lessons and came back in the industry with a vengeance. He’s now very successful and teaches other photographers to not make the mistakes he made. And Chase because he built an empire between his photography and CreativeLive by doing what he loves and in a similar way as me, not holding back.

What is your all-time favorite bucket list item (of yours or someone else’s)?
Growing up I never wanted to go to Israel. I had many opportunities and always passed on it. Maybe it was fear of how the news portrays what’s happening there. I don’t know. But now I regret it and am determined to get there. My wife had her Bat Mitzvah in Israel and is always talking about how great it was and sharing stories from the trip.

If you aren’t doing anything related to your photography, what are you doing in your free time?
Photography isn’t my full-time job, so I’m typically doing my daily activities for Photocrati. When not working or doing photography I am usually hanging out with my family, at the park with my daughter, or doing other activities that she can be involved in.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Before changing my college major to photography I was a music major. One music professor said to me something super epic that has always stuck with me within everything I do.

“Practice makes permanence.”

He says that because practice does not make anything perfect. Because nothing is perfect. But practice will help to make whatever the task is permanent. Think about it and you will understand just how true that is.

Readers: Join me in thanking Scott for sharing his time, stories, and advice with us! If you want to learn more about him, check out his website, which also has his links to the usual social media sites.

Want more interviews like this? Leave a comment and let me know who you would like to see featured, and be sure to sign up to stay updated on all the latest posts!

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