Lo­cal pho­tog­ra­pher Scotty Pass

Life­style pho­tog­ra­pher, des­ti­na­tion mar­keter and travel in­flu­encer

Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME - Layne Whit­burn

As a child, Scotty Pass dreamt of be­com­ing an ex­plorer. Fast for­ward to to­day and 27-year-old Scotty is liv­ing his child­hood dreams through a cam­era, lap­top and a whole lot of pas­sion and mo­ti­va­tion. The life of a travel blog­ger may look glam­orous, but Scotty says it’s taken a lot of hard work to get where he is to­day.

We caught up with the Sun­shine Coast based blog­ger to talk all things travel, pho­tog­ra­phy and why the Sun­shine Coast will al­ways be home.

When did you first dis­cover your love of pho­tog­ra­phy?

Un­der­stand­ing pho­tog­ra­phy and re­ally pur­su­ing it as an art form only started for me back in 2013. Prior to that, I would pick up a cam­era and would have lit­tle to no un­der­stand­ing of how to use it (other than to point and shoot). I've al­ways had a cre­ative mind - wether it was writ­ing, il­lus­trat­ing or cre­at­ing video, how­ever it's only been in the last two-and-a-half years where pho­tog­ra­phy and other cre­ative gen­res have been a real pas­sion for me.

What did you love about pho­tog­ra­phy back in 2013?

I en­joyed the learn­ing as­pect - even to this day. There's so much to learn. It's a con­stant chal­lenge.

What do you love about it now, what keeps you pas­sion­ate about pho­tog­ra­phy?

Cur­rently, the in­dus­try for con­tent cre­ation, so­cial in­flu­encers, pho­tog­ra­phy and blog­ging is re­ally thriv­ing. The in­dus­try is boom­ing with like­minded in­di­vid­u­als all push­ing the cre­ative bar­ri­ers in both photo and video. There's never been a bet­ter time for vis­ual me­dia and mar­ket­ing than there is at present. It's un­be­liev­able to think about how of­ten we are ex­posed to vis­ual streams of me­dia to­day. I love how ac­ces­si­ble travel is to ev­ery­one and how the evo­lu­tion of the travel and des­ti­na­tion in­dus­try has al­lowed me to forge an en­tirely new ca­reer that I never thought would've been pos­si­ble.

How did the idea to merge your pho­tog­ra­phy with travel writ­ing/blog­ging come about?

The idea to com­bine both cre­ative gen­res started ap­prox­i­mately two-and-a-half years ago. I trav­elled to The Cook Is­lands back in 2015 on a mis­sion to cre­ate a solid foun­da­tion of con­tent for other trav­ellers look­ing to ex­plore the re­gion. At the time, I couldn’t find the in­for­ma­tion I wanted on the des­ti­na­tion prior to trav­el­ling, so I de­cided to cre­ate a light-hearted se­ries of vlog videos on The Cook Is­lands, along with mul­ti­ple in­for­ma­tive blog posts and an is­land in­spired pho­tog­ra­phy se­ries. Those Cook Is­lands videos have now ac­cu­mu­lated in ex­cess of 100,000 views on YouTube, which is in­cred­i­ble. It's great to see so many oth­ers us­ing them as a start­ing point for in­for­ma­tion for their trav­els in that re­gion. I'm still asked to this day for my travel tips on vis­it­ing The Cook Is­lands - it's fan­tas­tic! That was prob­a­bly the first trip that al­lowed me to delve deeper into be­com­ing a travel blog­ger and prom­i­nent con­tent cre­ator here in Aus­tralia. I knew I had the ap­ti­tude for writ­ing in gen­eral, as well as a strong knowl­edge on how to mar­ket my images and my brand. The idea to be­gin trav­el­ling and writ­ing on a more per­ma­nent ba­sis was formed from that ini­tial trip. Even from an early age, I've al­ways had that en­tre­pre­neur­ial side to me - so cre­at­ing a con­sis­tent brand around my life­style, travel con­tent and videos re­ally helped me step out and be­gin merg­ing both as­pects.

You’ve been blog­ging for two years now – what has this blog­ging jour­ney taught you?

Blog­ging has def­i­nitely so­lid­i­fied the val­ues of hard work and mo­ti­va­tion. Ev­ery­one says to me, 'Oh, you’re so lucky to be do­ing what you're do­ing'. It makes me laugh, but also re­minds me ev­ery time I hear it, that what I'm do­ing all comes down to some se­ri­ously hard work. There are no rules around blog­ging - no one to tell you how it's done. No one push­ing you and mo­ti­vat­ing you, and cer­tainly no guar­an­teed pay­check at the end of ev­ery week - par­tic­u­larly if you're not pre­pared to sac­ri­fice a lot to make it work. Set­ting out on an un­char­tered blog­ging jour­ney has cer­tainly been the big­gest chal­lenge I've en­coun­tered and I'm con­stantly re­mind­ing my­self to work hard each day. There's just as much a busi­ness

savvy mind­set and hard work ethic re­quired to cre­ate a lu­cra­tive ca­reer in blog­ging and con­tent cre­ation as there is in any other busi­ness or pro­fes­sion. It's cer­tainly not as straight­for­ward and as easy as most peo­ple give it credit for. Blog­ging and con­tent cre­ation have taught me to have pa­tience and em­brace change. It's a con­tin­u­ally evolv­ing in­dus­try, so you have to be pre­pared to move with it.

What do you hope to pro­vide read­ers with your blog?

At the end of the day, all I want is for other peo­ple out there with reg­u­lar jobs and reg­u­lar lives (just as my­self) to feel as though travel is a pos­si­bil­ity. I want my read­ers/ view­ers to take a look at how I've done what I've done and feel as though they can ap­ply the same prin­ci­ples in their own lives or en­deav­ours. Wether it's your own busi­ness, ca­reer or hol­i­day - any­thing is pos­si­ble with some se­ri­ous hard work and com­mit­ment. I've trav­elled to some out­ra­geously beau­ti­ful des­ti­na­tions, all purely based on a good work ethic and some solid plan­ning. Even as a stu­dent study­ing and work­ing full­time many years ago, I man­aged to make it hap­pen. Ad­di­tion­ally, I hope to pro­vide some in­spi­ra­tion in the lo­ca­tions I travel to - al­most like an in­stant need for some­one else to take a trip to the same place. Pre­sent­ing a des­ti­na­tion in a way that pro­vokes a strong de­sire to travel far and wide is what I strive for in each piece of work I pro­duce.

Your job has taken you around the world to some of the most beau­ti­ful places – what keeps you com­ing back to the Sun­shine Coast?

The Sun­shine Coast has been my home for so long now. Ev­ery­one who lives here knows ex­actly just how lucky we are - both in the life­style and weather. Is it any won­der so many peo­ple from down south are mov­ing up here so quickly. It's a good base for me at the mo­ment as I still work a nor­mal job in be­tween trav­els. My work is flex­i­ble so it pro­vides the per­fect safety net to al­low me to tackle all the travel jobs and op­por­tu­ni­ties that have so far come my way.

You’ve been on a lot of ad­ven­tures (he­li­copter rides, treks etc.) Do you have any scary sto­ries from your trav­els? Any close calls with danger or death?

I'm al­ways ner­vous when I take a he­li­copter or light air­craft flight, that's for sure! They're of­ten a test of nerves for most peo­ple, but it's also the best ex­pe­ri­ence to get the adrenalin pump­ing. The clos­est near-death ex­pe­ri­ence was prob­a­bly fly­ing through a full-blown elec­tri­cal storm when I was leav­ing Jakarta. No one ex­pected the plane to take off! I'll never for­get it! I've hiked along 300-me­tre do­lerite cliffs in Tas­ma­nia, which was pretty in­sane! On the other end of the spec­trum, I suf­fered from a se­vere bout of food poi­son­ing whilst in Sin­ga­pore. Not fun! Other than that, it has been rel­a­tively tame so far.

Why is travel im­por­tant to you?

As much as I find it im­por­tant to me, I also be­lieve it's just as im­por­tant for ev­ery­one else to en­joy and savour. Whether it be the feel­ing of com­plete free­dom, soli­tude, in­de­pen­dence or lib­erty, I think travel will al­low you to ex­pe­ri­ence one or the other at some stage. It cer­tainly al­lows you to em­ploy a greater deal of in­de­pen­dence and also re­spect for other com­mu­ni­ties. For me, it's def­i­nitely the feel­ing of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing com­plete free­dom. There's noth­ing quite like be­ing 'stranded' in a re­mote group of is­lands in the mid­dle of the ocean to re­mind you just how big the world re­ally is.

Can you spill any hints on what’s next for scot­ty­pass.com?

You can ex­pect to see plenty more is­land ad­ven­tures com­ing up. Ex­pect to see a few more palm trees thrown in the mix along with some of the world's clear­est la­goons and wa­ters. Whilst in New Zealand this year, I got to ex­pe­ri­ence a much colder cli­mate than I'm usu­ally ex­posed to. So just for good mea­sure, I'll def­i­nitely be look­ing at ex­plor­ing a few more 'cool' lo­ca­tions. There's bound to be a lot more ad­ven­ture hikes and re­mote lo­ca­tions, not to men­tion some bustling city sites too.

Sun­shine Beach/Scotty Pass 22–23

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