Although a close-knit husband-and-wife team photographers JONATHAN & ANGELA SCOTT bring their individual approaches to photographing wildlife. TOR McINTOSH caught up with them to see how they work together.
Photography duos have always intrigued me. In fact, every time I see a photograph credited to two people I’m slightly perplexed as to how the system works. Does one person focus and the other one press the shutter release? Or do they simultaneously do everything in a ridiculous confusion of hands? I had no idea, but I’d always wanted to ask them. So, when I was given the chance to interview husband-and-wife photography duo Jonathan and Angela Scott, I knew I would finally work out the enigma surrounding the art of dual picture-taking.
Many will be familiar with Jonathan through his television work, appearing on and presenting wildlife programmes such as Nature Watch in the 1980s, Wild Things in the 1990s and the BBC’s long-running and hugely popular Big Cat series. In addition to his broadcasting credentials, for the past two decades he has been one half of a prolific partnership with his wife that has seen them write numerous books, produce many pen-and-ink drawings and travel around the world as wildlife and travel photographers.
Through a slightly crackly long-distance Skype call to their home near Nairobi, capital of Kenya, in East Africa, I launch straight in and quiz them about the logistics of
working as a team. “I think that’s the one thing that everybody is fascinated by; and the fact that we haven’t strangled each other yet,” laughs Angela. Her husband chips in: “It’s an extraordinary thing to take two people who are very much individuals and put them in a confined space, which is often our 4WD vehicle, and expect them to produce great photographs, when photography is such a one-person show most of the time. You don’t really think of it as being something that people can combine in doing because, after all, only one person can have their face behind the camera and click the button.”
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Published in Photography Monthly, May 2011