Scotty Alan Photography

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For me, film > digital

I know, I know, the film vs. digital debate has been done 1,000 too many times. However, I’m not going to write about which one is better as they both have their place. Rather, I’m going to write about why I prefer film to digital… 

In three short words… it’s the process. 

First, I get to choose a film stock which is dependant upon the look I’m going for. Yes, digital can emulate film, somewhat, but not exactly. Next, I have to get a correct exposure for each shot I take. Each frame made costs money. When money is associated with something the owner/user sees that something as having value. In my opinion each photo taken on film feels more valuable than a bunch of 1’s and 0’s written on a memory card. Each actual image recorded on film is tangible. After the film is used its up to me to get that film developed whether I choose to send it to a lab or do it on my own. There is a continued care that has to be taken with the tangible pictures going from camera to reel, to inside of a tank, to developer, to stop bath, to fixer, to wash, to being dried, and scanned. Finally comes the part which digital shooters are familiar with… post processing, or editing as most refer to it. Some film shooting purists may disagree with the last step but I like to get rid of any dust spots that may be on my negatives. I will also tweak exposure and/or contrast in lightroom but that’s all the editing I’ll do with film. I generally spend 3 minutes per photo, 5 minutes max, in lightroom and photoshop. 

I also love knowing I have something to go back to if any of my hard drives fail. Yes, there is enough cloud, but I’m not going to put my hopes in something I can’t see (other than God) over something that been a tried and true method for decades upon decades. 

The pictures are tangible and I love the organic feeling process of developing film. This, for me, is why I prefer film over digital. 

Real Super Heros


copyright Olan Mills

It’s said that any guy can help make a baby, but it takes a real man to help raise that baby. No one is perfect. We all have our short comings. We all make our mistakes in life. What makes us better people is realizing that we made mistakes and being able admit them, apologize for them, and grow from those mistakes. My father left us when I was in second grade. Since that point my sister and I had a rocky relationship with him which was later restored 10 fold, and we miss him dearly.

However, my mom remarried a guy from our church. This man took me under his wing and treated me like I was his own. We watched sports on T.V. together, we went to Dallas Mavericks games together, and he taught me about cars and the used car business. Most importantly, he loved Jesus. He was a good example to my sister and I of what a father and husband should be. He treated my mom well. He listened to me whenever I needed someone to talk to. More importantly he showed me/us love. He never really told me he loved me, but he didn’t have to. I knew he loved me (and my sister) by his actions.

Now, as I am an adult, I am in a similar role as I have been divorced and remarried. I have a beautiful daughter from my previous marriage and a beautiful daughter with my wife. I also have a stepson. I love both of my biological children with all of my heart and I love my stepson as he is my biological child as well. It’s proven that kids that grow up without fathers are more likely to have troubled childhoods and grow up to be adults with serious issues. I would have to assume that there are some children who grow up with fathers who are not good examples of what fathers should be, and end up with the same, or similar issues.

I have been blessed with a step dad that did the best he could and that helped raise me into the man I have become. If I can be half the father to my children as he was a stepdad to me, then I will feel that I’ve done well as a dad. I/we love you Don Hagin and you will be missed greatly. See you on the other side!

My all time most favoritest camera…

The Bronica ETRS. 

This was my dads. 

He shot many weddings with it. 

He gave it to me when I graduated photography school in 2001. 

Perception is reality, or maybe it’s not! 

I grew up loving Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Michael Jackon, Prince, Bo Jackson, Emmitt Smith, and Pudge Rodriguez… 
Later, once I got into photography, I grew to love Ansel Adams, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Elliot Erwitt, and many others… 

What do all of these people have in common? They were some of the best at what they did. They were some of the best of the best. They were pros pros. They were the professionals professional. Regardless if they knew it, they wouldn’t say it. 

Please, for the love of art, business, and for the love of humanity,  don’t  say you’re the best at something. If you are, just be it. Your actions will define you, not your words! 

And if you say you are the best at something you better damn well be. 

My Six Phases In Photography:  No photos here, just words!

Looking back over my photographic journey I can see that I went through several different phases. Here, I’m going to summarize the phases where I’ve been and where I currently am at. 

PHASE ONE: Intro to photography…

While some may think this phase might have been a few months or a school semester or two, this phase lasted a lot longer than that. In 1995/1996, my senior year in high school, I took a photography course. I enjoyed it but I sucked. I sucked at photography real bad. I barely knew enough to make a decent exposure, and that was only maybe a few frames per roll of film. If I got a decent exposure I felt lucky. I ended up going to a community college after high school, but not knowing exactly what I wanted to do, I just took classes to get my basics done. I ended up spending 5 years at a community college.  About the third year in, I decided to take another photography again. I took another intro to photography class. This time I really started to get a grasp on composition, exposure, and printing in the darkroom. I was having fun and making a lot more decent photographs. 

PHASE TWO: Advanced Photography and a little bit of money…

During this phase of photography I really had an understanding of compostion, exposure, and using the golden hour and the early morning to my advantage. During this phase I touched on studio lighting.I took a lighting class that was offered during the summer and it was about 4 weeks long. We had minimal time in the studio. I knew one lighting set up and stuck with it. During this phase I also started getting some paid gigs. While I went to a school that taught fine art photography and not commercial photography, I had no idea about the business aspects of it all.  I’d go on to make enough money to cover the costs of film, processing, and a little extra for gas. 

PHASE THREE: The digital revolution, or was it? 

I graduated college in May of 2001. Sometime in 2002 I decided I needed to go digital. I bought my first Canon 6.1mp DSLR that I took a small business loan out for. Digital was a different beast. I was used to getting acceptable, good, and great images from a film negative. With digital I ended up getting frustrated time and time again. My photos sucked… again!

PHASE FOUR: Can I flash you? A breath of fresh air! Getting mo gigs and mo money at this thing! 

While working at Starbucks this random dude came in wearing a shirt that said “Can I flash you?” I struck up a conversation with this dude and he ended up being a photographer too. As a matter of fact, he turned out to be a darn good photographer. Zack Arias and I met up a couple times to talk photography. He ripped my college portfolio to shreds. But he inspired me to be better. He ended up moving to Atlanta and we kept in touch for a while. He encouraged me to get into flash photography, and even use flash outside. After learning flash and learning it well, I felt like I was a brand new photographer… On. A. Whole. New. Level. 

PHASE FIVE: Put it down! Pick it up! 

Early 2012… burn out sets in. Photography has become a beating. I’m tired of it all. I’m tired of the business. I’m bored and uninterested. Family problems and more. I give up my studio lease, sell all my studio equipment, and quit… 




About 6 months pass and I get the itch to start scratching at photography again. All I have is a Canon Elan 7e and a Bronica ETRS. Both are film cameras my dad had given me. I bought some film, shot it, and fell back in love all over again. I went on to developing my own film again by using the caffenol process, as well as the traditional black and white process. 

PHASE SIX: Bodies of work! 

This is where I am currenly. I’m tired of merely looking at images on computer screens, laptop screens, and on cell phones. I want something tangible. I want something I can hold. I like getting a wiff of the combination of paper and ink. I love feeling like I actually created something. I love feeling like I actually created something other than a combination of 1’s and 0’s that flash on and off of stuff that will eventually stop working. Currently, I am enjoying where I am. I’m enjoying making prints, zines, magazines, and books. I have a feeling I’ll be here for quite some time. And I’m looking forward to my next project, and the project after that, and the project after that. 

I have no idea what the next phase is… but once I figure it out, I’ll let you know! 

Pick up a brand new camera, pick up a 6.1mp camera, pick up a film camera, or pick up a cell phone and shoot. Enjoy where you are at but don’t stay there. Don’t settle. Keep growing. Keep changing. Keep creating your magic and share it with the world. 

On Exposure & Dynamic Range…

“If you know how to expose properly, you don’t need more than 3 to 4 stops of dynamic range.” -Amar Talwar 

^ truth

Scott’s  personal experience: I’ve been shooting photography since 1995 starting with film. Since I went digital these are the cameras I’ve owned: 

  • Canon D60 6.1 megapixel from 2002
  • Canon Rebel xti
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon t4i 
  • Ricoh GR
  • Fuji xt10

I’ve known how to get proper exposure since 1995. Have I messed up? Yes, plenty of times. Do I think my photography is all that plus a bag of chips? He’ll No! I learn something new every day and every week and I love helping others learn.  However, never once have I really cared all that much about dynamic range. I’ve never once had a client care about the dynamic range in my camera.

If you’re more concerned with dynamic range than getting the proper exposure you’ve been misled. If you’re a professional and you’re feeling the same way, you may need to go find something else to do. 

As Amar would say… 

“Stay blessed and go create your magic!”

Photography Practice! 

​Most of my favorite photos come from personal projects or just photo shoots where I was practicing and experimenting. When a paying client is in front of me I have X amount of time to get the shots, so I’ve got to go to what I know in order to get the shots and deliver. 

After enough practicing and experimenting I can then and apply what I’ve learned into my paid sessions with clients. 

I’ve got to always make time for practice.

Fall & Holiday Portrait Special

Right now I’m offering portrait sessions for $59 which includes a 30 minute mini session with high resolution digital images for download. The other option is a full 1 hour session for $99 with images uploaded to dropbox. 
*all images are color corrected. Scotty Alan Photography is not responsible for any color shifts during the print process if not printed through Scott’s professional print service and printed through non-professional consumer photo labs such as Walmart and walgreens. 

Professional prints & print packages:
1 sheet is one 8×10, two 5x7s, or 8 wallets. 

1 sheet = $29

Package A:: any combination of 4 sheets of the same pose = $99

Package B:: any combination of 4 sheets of any poses =  $109

Wall Prints:
1 – 11 x 14 = $49

1 – 16 x 20 = $74

*all prints are printed on professional archival photographic paper with a linen texture

Flash & Lighting :: private lessons & mini workshops

Interested in taking your photography to the next level by learning flash photography? 

The photo above was shot in this guy’s living room and used for his album cover.

Original unedited version to the album cover. 


1. more control of the light falling on your subject

2. more control over the ambient / available light. 

3. The ability to shape the light around your subject.

4. You can still make light from flash look like available light. 

5. Once you learn how light works you can have a mobile studio and even shoot OUTSIDE for studio looking portraits

6. If your client wants a particular look that cannot be done without flash, you can provide it for them and get them what they want. 

The photo above was shot with a speed light inside of an octabox.

The image above was shot with a speed light in an octabox with just enough to light for a little fill. I tried to keep the image looking like natural light as much as possible. 

This was shot outside at dusk to make a studio looking shot. 

In this image the flash was placed directly behind the subject to create a silhouette.  


We will go over shooting in manual mode.

We will talk about how to use ISO, aperture, and shutter speed to get the look you want.

We will talk about different lighting modifiers. 

Another shot in a living room. 


$40 for a 1.5 hour lesson. 

$60 for a 3 hour lesson.

$35 per person for a mini workshop. The mini workshop is 3 hours and we must have 3 to 4 people. Grab some friends and save $5 and gain some more time for learning. 

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