I was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, just 18 miles east of my hometown, Tallulah, Louisiana. Vicksburg, situated on high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, was the site of one of the decisive battles of the American Civil War. Tallulah is a Delta town, surrounded by some of the richest farmland in the United States. Being born in 1965, at the end of the centennial celebration and remembrance of that tragic civil war, how could I not grow up but be shaped by history and memory and myth - and hence, my name Scarlett.
Like my namesake - and, probably most Southerners - I was also shaped early in life by a strong sense of family: especially family stories and traditions. And I was early on drawn to photography as a way to capture and express those family feelings. I was inspired particularly by a beautiful photographic portrait of my paternal grandmother, taken in the late 1920s. My grandmother was the primary calming influence during my adolescence, and her portrait spoke to me of a world of familial connection that could also be aesthetically beautiful.
So...at an early age I developed my passion for what photography might offer: the possibility of capturing a moment of rare insight into someone's spirit; the possibility of imaginatively travelling to a world beyond my small-town time and place; the possibility that even as generations came and went that a sense of family history, made vibrant by a beautiful photographic portrait, might live on forever.
These early dreams about what photography could give us have crystallized into my personal philosophy about what I now do as a professional fine art portrait photographer.
Over the past twenty-three years I have travelled the world to master my craft and deepen my art. From Russia to Peru, from France and Italy to Ireland, from New York to California, from Colorado to Oregon, I have taken master classes with some of the world's most creative photographic artists, including Mary Ellen Mark, Shana and Robert ParkHarrison, Joyce Tennyson, Josephine Sacabo, Maggie Taylor, Jock Sturges, and Joyce Wilson.
A specialist in fine printing, I apprenticed in the "old school" film tradition where I learned to love the magic of the darkroom and the transcendent tones of black and white photography. Today, I shoot in digital, as well as in film, and love the aesthetic possibilities that digital technology brings to fine art portraiture.
Regardless of what new and exciting technologies will come to photography, I am firmly committed to ever seeking -- and ever offering to my clients -- that magical moment that an iconic family photograph immortalizes, that singular moment in a family's history that will never be again, except in memory as that particular portrait makes it live again.