Monthly Archives October 2011

[Editorial Note: This post contains images and stories pertaining to child slavery. If you do not wish to view these, do not click through to the full article]

I became a photographer to change the world. It’s just been a little bit harder than I thought it would be.

I grew up in Iran, and by the time I was twelve I had been around the world twice with my family, and had visited twenty countries along the way. I wanted to find a career that would keep me out in that world, and journalism—especially photography—seemed perfect. I saw the role that photography had played in ending the war in Vietnam and wanted to join that cadre of crusading photographers.

But when I joined the staff of National Geographic, my ambitions became somewhat more modest—or realistic: I could illuminate worlds most people would never see. As a journalist, I loved telling stories, and especially loved being behind closed doors in intimate situations that revealed something about the human condition. I tried to get that kind of photograph into every story, no matter how complicated the assignment or vast the terrain.

And they were big: cities (Jerusalem, Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, Helsinki, Nashville, Shanghai and Venice) and countries (China, Jordan, Thailand and Taiwan). But my later stories on the women of Saudi Arabia, the geisha of Japan, and the science of beauty and love let me make the kinds of photographs I liked best. I was able to enter some very private places indeed—some never photographed before—and share them the world.

But then a newspaper article about Congress passing the Anti-Trafficking Act caught my eye and I knew that contemporary slavery was an issue I had to try to make sense of. It would be the culmination of all my passions and experience.

Hi Gang: I just got back from the Bucs vs. Colts Monday Night football game (it was awesome!), but I just walked in the door and it's 1:24 am in the morning. I'm downloading the images from the game in the background, because no matter how tired you are, you must always at least take a brief look at your images to see if you really did capture that touchdown pass in the end zone, or did the ref walk right in front of you. (Above: Our good friend Ken Toney snagged this image of me on TV, right behind the word ESPN on the left, shooting from the end zone. Man was it hard shooting over those letters). ;-)  Sadly, Ken did not win the Spot Scott Competition, because others beat him to it. I'll determine the winners later today). The post that was…


OK, I am super psyched because tonight I'll be shooting on the sidelines at the Monday Night Football Game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. Monday Night Football is a grand sports tradition here in the USA, and it's broadcast nationwide (as its the only pro football game that airs on Monday night----all the rest play on Sunday), and I know a lot of you will be watching, so I thought I would create this handy “Scott Spotting Guide” just in case I get creamed by a receiver (or if Josh Freeman breaks my monopod). ;-) Brad Has Re-Pimped Out my Monopod To make “Scott Spotting” easier, Brad has removed the red flames tape and replaced it with bright yellow tape around the top section of my monopod, so if I show up on camera (which I…

Tampa 2011 Group Photo

This weekend, we shared in something very special: over 1,100 walks all over the world, from Tusla to Oxford, Jakarta to Tehran, from Pakistan to the Philippines, from Finland to Malta, and from Qatar to Denmark---all coming together as one big community to share our passion for photography and people. What an amazing day! I know it's our fourth year now, but I'm still amazed by the whole thing. One of my favorite parts happens after I return from leading my walk (this year, in downtown Tampa, Florida), when I get to sit back and watch all the reports and photos streaming in from every part every corner of the globe. It still just simply boggles my mind, and puts a huge smile on my face to know that we all shared in something really special this weekend. Millions of photos were made that…