Local photographer Scotty Pass
Lifestyle photographer, destination marketer and travel influencer
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