Scott Stulberg on Creativity in Quarantine

Scott Stulberg on Creativity in Quarantine

Hey Scott. How’s everything been going? 

I’m fortunate enough to say that things are going pretty well for me. I just got my first vaccine and I’m hoping that everyone else can soon so that things can get back to some sense of normalcy although who knows when it will ever be like it was before.

So I understand it’s been a major disruption needing to cancel all of your travel for the last year. How have you been spending your time instead?

It’s definitely been a big change not being able to travel, but living in a small town has its benefits that we’re feeling pretty good about right now. It’s easy to go out and shoot here because it’s so pretty in Sedona (AZ). In fact, it just snowed here and I got out and was able to get some really unique and beautiful images. 

I imagine that is quite the site to see snow in the desert. Have you had to put off your workshops completely? 

I actually have been staying pretty busy teaching online workshops. My students have been calling me and saying “Scott. I just don’t feel inspired. This quarantine is just dragging on forever and I haven’t picked up my camera all year.” and that gave me the idea to launch the “Inspire Series” 

The Inspire Series is 4 online workshops. The first one is called Afterglow: Shooting After Dark which covers everything about shooting after the sun goes down. Then, I have The Superwide View and the Art of Creating Panoramas which is incredibly informative. The next one coming up in a few days is The Art of Travel Photography and at the end of the month I have Photoshop for Photographers. I absolutely love teaching and I try to keep it engaging by having everyone turn their mics on to make it feel much more like we are in a real classroom. I also check in afterwards with some of the students to give a little more personal attention. 

I’ve seen a lot of people changing genres or even taking the quieter time lately to pivot to education. Has that been part of your journey or are you taking up some different hobbies instead?

I guess I have had more time to do projects around our home, from outdoor lighting to putting in new floor molding. I have a great shop in our garage with lights to work at night and table saws and just about every other tool as I love being a handyman! Saves a lot of money too! But with more free time and not being in the gym because of Covid, I have more time for Peloton classes downstairs in our home and also more time for Interval training with my jump rope. Nothing beats doing Intervals!  

Other than that, my two main focuses are selling my images all over the world and teaching my online workshops & planning my photography workshops for later this year and into next year. All of this still keeps me pretty busy even in quarantine.

For my own photography, I’m still shooting after dark images all around Sedona and waiting till around March to capture the Milky Way over the red rocks in this gorgeous town.

For people who have trouble finding something to photograph, I want to emphasize the importance of picking up your camera. So many folks have told me they have not touched their cameras in a year! Just go and play. Do some macro around the neighborhood, go on a hike, take pictures of sky to use for composites later. Lots to play with all over the place! But also, this is the perfect time to take photography classes online as there are a ton of choices everywhere.


Milky Way Panorama with moonlight over Sedona by Scott Stulberg

Other than not traveling, what are some of the differences in the creative process when you’re at home? Advantages/disadvantages?

There is still so much I have going. I’m brainstorming content for workshops, making reservations for the future and also consulting with clients who are ordering my images. I just worked on 26 new images for the UCLA Hospital; they are waiting to be printed on metal and then hung. Working on other images for doctors’ offices in Beverly Hills and also working on images for a very cool photography gallery with locations across the US.

I’m also reworking images I’ve taken in the past, which is something I suggest everyone do. If you haven’t shot in months, I am sure there are tons of older images that have great potential if you tackle them with a different eye and the newest Photoshop is now more amazing & powerful than ever. 

Antelope Canyon, an image Scott Stulberg recently reworked

(Check out Scott Stulberg’s Images on Interior Walls for an interesting take on presenting prints to clients) 

Any tips on staying focused and productive during these long stay at home sessions? Did you make any changes to optimize your creative space at home? 

Everyone is different and that’s going to depend on your end goal. I spend a lot of time working at my computer editing photos, planning workshops, putting together curriculum and teaching my classes. For me, with so much time on the computer, I really have to focus on ergonomics. If you’re doing things in a way that isn’t comfortable or causes pain, it can be a real distraction that can take away from productivity and just isn’t good for your body. Some of the touches I’ve made include using a standing desk and a great sit/stool, getting a really awesome chair from BodyBilt, and ensuring my feet are always supported on the floor with an adjustable footrest. Good ergonomics means a happy body!  And of course I have a TV in the office to watch sports while I am working!

A photo of Scott’s home office. (Having prints of your work can be a great way to appreciate your images and stay inspired) 

Find out more about Scott Stulberg here