Brandon Scales is a Photojournalist based in Los Angeles with a passion for documenting the realities of everyday life – and what better place to do this than in LA…
Tell us a bit about yourself; how long have you been shooting and why do you photograph?
I’ve been shooting since I could hold a camera. My mother used photography to record family events and it just came naturally to me. I was shooting a roll of film a day starting in middle school and, come high school, it was a huge part of my life. Mostly documenting friendships and my personal work. At the time, I was a muralist. In high school I built a darkroom in the closet of my English teacher’s classroom and began to really push my limits.
I shoot for many reasons but mostly because I want to tell/share stories. I only speak English but imagery allows me to bridge language gaps and interact more closely with others.
We are constantly inundated with false realities; advertising, outsider interests, entertainment etc. I personally feel there is enough to be had from the day-to-day lifestyle of ourselves and others.
What is it that attracts you to the documentary genre?
We are constantly inundated with false realities; advertising, outsider interests, entertainment etc. I personally feel there is enough to be had from the day-to-day lifestyle of ourselves and others. I’m a people watcher, a human interest addict. I’ve simply chosen to put it all together for one cohesive work flow.
How would you define your personal photographic style and what is it that you want your images to say to the viewer?
My style is truth. Every visual element has a reason for being the way it is in my work. It has to add to the telling of a story. I want my viewers to open up to a world and a level of understanding beyond themselves – to hopefully help remove ego and grow an appreciation for others.
We are a hell of a species and can provide endless love, laughter, heartache or any other emotion as long as we’re willing to be open, look and share.
Who or what are the biggest sources of inspiration for your photography?
People. I have no other inspiration than people watching. We are a hell of a species and can provide endless love, laughter, heartache or any other emotion as long as we’re willing to be open, look and share. I aim to do that through my photography.
What is the best piece of photography advice that you have received?
I wouldn’t say I’ve ever gotten much advice personally other than technical through photojournalism school. If I could give advice though, it would be practice. Shoot more, think less. Always have a camera, always! It’s said to take 10,000 hours of work to perfect a craft. Considering we photographers usually work in the area of 1/250th of a second, it’s going to take a lot of practice.
What has been the high-point of your photography career to date?
Being pleased with my own work. When I make a photo or body of work I don’t want to stop looking at, it’s a high point.
What is your go-to equipment and peripherals when you are on assignment?
I personally prefer manual rangefinders and black and white 35mm film. However, I allow the project to dictate the medium. Whatever best tells the story is what I use. I always have a camera on me. I have one in my pocket as I’m writing this on the bus.
Are you currently working on any projects that you can tell us about?
I’m currently working on my most personal project to date. It’s very self exploratory. It’ll take another year to finish. That’s about all I can share at this point. Keeping up with me on social media is the best way to get regular peeks inside my studio and my mind. (Instagram: @brandonscales)
See more of Brandon’s work at:
All images copyright Brandon Scales.