Archival – A photo essay by John Midgley.
Once known as the first million dollar blogger, Scott Schuman has been able to evolve his craft while maintaining a level of clarity like no other photographer covering street style in the last decade. Bill Cunningham has his impact, but Scott surely carved his name in the history books and didn’t ask for permission. Adding to his repertoire, he has a menswear book coming out this September by Rizzoli.
From the very beginning, I always felt like a street photographer that had an eye for fashion. Steve McCurry was my main inspiration. No one told me how to do it, I am not a trained photographer. It’s about people not just fashion, so my best photographs are portraits. The vision has always been about being honest, like my India book….a book about People of Color.
With the current state of worldly affairs, maybe it is good that the protests have happened at this time so there is little distraction, states Scott. If you are a positive person, maybe this is the right time being that the coverage is now unmasked. I’ve always been open to the idea, but I had not gone to a protest before, but since the India book, how can I do more with charity and social issues remains a question.
So many people were posting memes and quotes, but it wasn’t true to me, I was laying in bed and decided I want to cover more issues. I lost 1000+ followers, when I started posting images from the BLM protest in New York, but I wanted to challenge myself and my audience…my core audience. I didn’t feel educated enough, and didn’t want people to take offense-I wanted to learn and understand. I was familiar with The Black Lives Matter movement, and of course Kapernick, because I watch ESPN and listen to sports radio. However, I wanted to be more proactive. I hope people learn how to communicate and learn to listen. People have a knee jerk idea of White privilege. Quarantine has given me time to think and understand that people have suffered. I hope conversation evolves to understanding our privilege and own up to it.
Scott has always challenged his audience to look closer at everyday people, putting the on the runway of his blog and instagram. Now he is using that same approach to challenge himself and his audience to look deeper into how we might have ignored the little things that create these oppressive opportunities. His new protest images reflect an attention to detail in expression, character and style. And once again Scott Schuman found inspiration in the streets that will be used to change the industry one image at a time.