My name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz and I am a New Jersey Photographer with a focus on landscape, portrait and commercial photography. In addition to making photographs I am also a blogger, educator and author.
I believe that my creative approach and personal touch is what client’s deserve and it makes the experience enjoyable and memorable for everyone.
The inspiration for my work reaches from so many places. However, my style of photography is often compared to that of Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander and Ansel Adams.
It’s often said the proof is in the pudding. In photography, the photographs can really tell a person if the photographer is the right choice or not. However, it is always nice to hear and share feedback from clients and colleagues. Read the testimonials.
Want to know more?
I didn’t always know that photography was in my future. Heck, I never thought I would be working for a tech startup. But when I think back to where I started, it all kind of makes sense…
Leading up to my high school career I was 100% focused on music. In a way, I was pushed towards music by my family. Yet, I also wanted it for myself. When high school began, my ambitions started changing. Looking back now, it’s for the better. I started experimenting with electronics and computers, taking Basic coding classes, C++ and so on. I wasn’t very good, but I could grasp the concepts and enjoyed them.
When it came time for college I was still playing music for school and for pleasure. At school my instrument was the clarinet because that is what I was best at. I was playing in bands, but as a bassist, guitarist and keyboardist. Although I could play many instruments, I stuck with clarinet to get into Berklee College of Music. Once I began college classes I realized how much I disliked music theory. So I transferred home to a community college, but continued my music education. Once I was finally fed up with music, I switched focus to photography (pun intended). Everything changed.
There is something about photography theory that is so interesting to me. I get excited to learn new techniques and to try something I never have before. When I became a photography technology major, it meant that I would have the ability to re-learn the basics of photography, medium and even large format photography. In addition, I had the chance to learn how to use digital cameras and digital backs (still new at the time).
So I pursued this new path with the greatest intentions, dreaming of opening up my own studio. I’m still waiting for that day to come, but I love what I do, so no complaints at all.
During my college career I had to photograph many products and portraits. Not once did an assignment require landscape photography. So with that slight push, most of my photography desire was for portrait photography over anything else. I picked up a basic Novatron lighting kit with my student discount and created what I now look back as “okay” portraits.
During this time I continued to experiment with Photoshop and Dreamweaver, making logos and websites for friends and family who asked for help. The passion never left, and I continued to educate myself on websites and new technologies.
Forward a couple years and I’ve graduated with my Associates in Photography Technology. I landed a job with the largest camera warranty company, which also happened to be in my home town. My position was in their small retail store originally, but I quickly grew to a new position managing some of the repair technicians, designing marketing materials and handling the website and all social media marketing. During this process I learned along the way, as without having any formal marketing education I had no clue what to do.
After six years with the company I needed a change, and so I started looking for a new job. I came across an IT security company that was looking for a marketing person. I interviewed and they liked that I was teaching myself marketing and understood as much as I did. So they hired me. It was a challenging position because it was way out of my comfort zone. There were no aspects of photography in the job, whatsoever, and little graphic design work.
Through my time at the warranty and IT security company, I had the opportunity to fall in love with landscape photography. Since I had nothing pushing me to focus on portraits, my style changed dramatically. I continued to meet people, take workshops, photowalk and engage with other photographers. I learned from them, and they from me. I practiced landscape photography because it was something that I loved more than any other type of photography.
Just over a year of being at the position at the IT security company, I was heading to dinner with my wife and received an email from someone I never talked to before. The email went something like this…
Been following your work for a very long time and I do not know if you are looking for a job but if you are I’d love to talk.”
So that night I had a 3-hour or so call with my now current boss and friend, Erick. He is the Founder and CEO of Photocrati, an extremely intelligent photographer, business and family man. A few conversations later I made the best decision of my life (after marrying my wife).
Photocrati is a company who makes WordPress themes and plugins for photographers. You can also say that Photocrati makes website products for photographers. So as you can see, the company was right up my alley.
“Photography and websites, how can I pass this up?” was pretty much how the conversation with my wife went. She agreed it was the perfect job for me, and one that was literally thrown into my lap. Hard work, dedication and love for what you do pays off in the end.
My position at Photocrati is the Community & Blog Wrangler. What this means is that I get to spend my days interacting with customers and non-customers. Not in an advertising/sales way, but rather just as another photographer. I get to offer advice and educate other photographers on how to improve their websites and marketing. This happens through social media (mostly Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest) and through in-person events like photowalks. The other part of my job is to blog regularly about marketing, social media, WordPress, photography, search engine optimization and a lot more. I also get the chance to travel and spend days photographing landscapes that I enjoy.
During the time that my career was changing I knew that I would have more time to work on my own photography and education. I decided to start writing eBooks and teaching more workshops. My first eBook was written based off of a presentation I gave to a camera club about breaking the rules of photography. I call it Set Your Passion Free. After that I wrote an eBook about the many ways people can learn photography and called it Absorbing Light. The third was a compilation of articles I published on my blog about the comparisons of photography and karate. I turned those into the eBook, When Photography and Karate Merge. Most recently I wrote an eBook on long exposure photography called Time Is On Your Side. The eBook was months and months in the making. I put everything I had into it. It is basically an introduction towards the technique, and gives me the opportunity to write follow up eBooks with more specific techniques within the larger one, like light painting and panoramic photography.
I’ve always been one for educating other photographers. I believe that is one of the things that caught Erick’s attention in the first place. So all this time while learning through school and on my own, I have been recording videos on YouTube to educate whoever I can. I honestly don’t spend too much time marketing my YouTube videos on YouTube because of the known negativity people leave in comments. Instead I upload my videos there and then embed the videos into my blog content. Doing this has many advantages that help a website rank better on search engines and increases potential conversions when selling products.
At Photocrati I also create videos. What’s nice about mixing my own personal work with that at Photocrati is that it is a fantastic combination of things photographers need to know for business. My videos talk about the craft, processing and techniques. Whereas, Photocrati videos talk about the business, marketing and website aspects.
Now here I am writing about my history. You know a bit about where I started and how I got to this point. So why…why tell you all of this? Because everyone has a story to tell. Whether you tell it in a video, in a book, in photographs or on your blog. Tell it, teach it, shoot it, and share it.
Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
Scott Wyden Kivowitz
“If you are not doing what you love on a daily basis you need to rethink what you do on a daily basis”