Meet photographer Scott Jarvie. You can see his prints of Mormon temples in many LDS religious book stores and magazines around the United States. He started out mostly doing wedding photography but this past year has been traveling the United States shooting religious buildings. His most recent book project can be found at http://americanfaithproject.com.
Many of us would love to fulfill a dream, take time off from life as we know it and do nothing but take photographs of subjects or stories that uplift and inspire not only other photographers but fans and clients. This is exactly what Scott Jarvie did. He left life as he knew it and traveled the country taking photographs of some of most inspiring and beautiful religious structures.
What started your journey into photography?
I was studying languages at College and I had a passion for travel. When I went to work at a supermarket in Belgium in 2004 I bought a small point and shoot digital and it only heightened the traveling experience for me. Then later when I bought a DSLR paid photoshoots quickly came about.
You have recently switched the kind of gear you use. What do you now shoot on and why the change?
I shoot with a Nikon D810 but I switched away from Nikon Lenses to Sigma lenses because I was extremely impressed by the quality of their Prime lenses for my needs.
Tell us about your latest Project?
I knew that for my year on the road and book publishing costs I’d need $100-$120k so I figured $70k would be the right amount to “kick start” the project. I had a lucky stroke with half the funding coming in on the very last day of my crowd funding campaign. This allowed me to take this past year and travel all over the country and take pictures of LDS temples and other religious buildings. It was an experience that allowed me to meet new people and connect with friends and loved ones throughout the year. Most importantly, I was able to see and photograph some of the most beloved buildings that mean so much to millions of people across the globe and compile it into a book. Bringing art that means a lot in terms of spirituality into the hands of fans has been one of the most satisfying aspects of being a photographer.
While I did not have a partner to bare the responsibility for the project, I did have a lot of people that were passionate about the project and there was a core team of people that helped me out. It would have been way too overwhelming had I not found them.
What has been the challenges are traveling?
I’d say consistent unlimited strong WiFi has been the thing that I miss the most. While on the road I spend a ton more money for a whole lot less internet.
Finding places to park is also part of the daily struggle as I never use RV parks and try to always stay around friends. Luckily I do seem to know people in almost every city so there are only occasions when I find myself lacking.
How much longer are you traveling for? Whats next in store?
I’m officially done photographing for my Faith In America project. However, there is no compelling reason to rush off to pay rent somewhere and be stuck in one location. I will continue to do the Airstream until I have a reason not to. That’s my official statement.
I will now spend December selling copies of my first book “American Temples” and then in January through March sifting through a year of images and editing and prepping the second book “Faith in America”
The plan is to live in a different state each month while doing that.
I also have some big new projects for 2015 including: working on youtube inspired photography projects, creating a big photography event, and continuing my usage of Patreon to build a supportive community for all my future endeavors.
All the while I want to learn to take it easy and not be in so much of a rush.
What advice would you give to photographers starting out and growing?
Remember to love the act of taking pictures and not just the results… if the hard work is overly bothersome to you, it’s gonna be a long lonely road.
It’s relatively simple to learn how to take good pictures, cameras are better, learning opportunities are rampant. This means the bar keeps going up for “exceptional photography” that’s where the extra hard work comes in.
If you want to make an impact in photography it will be more about what you do with your images. Good photography is not an end point anymore it’s a pre-requisite.