Anderson Scott is a partner at Fisher & Phillips in Atlanta who specializes in representing employers, including in litigation. He's also a photographer whose work has been on display at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the International Center for Photography in New York City.
His photographs of abandoned American factories, shown in 1991 at the Jones Troyer Fitzpatrick Gallery in Washington, were reviewed in The Washington Post as "a moving study of loss and desolation from which Scott has nonetheless wrested an awesome beauty."
His photos of the mysterious Nuwaubian sect that built a strange compound in Middle Georgia in the 1990s appear in the book Ungodly: A True Story of Unprecedented Evil, by Bill Osinski.
A new book of Scott's photography, Whistling Dixie, will be published by University of Chicago Press later this year. The photographs of Civil War re-enactments around the South "convey the earnestness and enthusiasm of this subculture while exposing its idiosyncrasies and contradictions," the publisher says.
Scott talked to the Daily Report about his work.
When did you start taking photographs? What drew you to that art?
I started in junior high school, and I certainly was not drawn to it as art. My father had a nice camera and a collection of lenses and accessories that he let me use. I started messing around with this gear because I liked to tinker with gadgets. I initially enjoyed trying to copy the gimmicky special-effects pictures that ran in magazines like Popular Photography, such as double exposures, pictures made with colored filters, and so on.
When I did start to take photography more seriously, it was because of Ansel Adams, who was very much in the news at the time, in the late '70s. I think many photographers have found their way to serious photography because of Adams. His pictures are accessible, and he wrote well and at length about his creative process.
Once I became engaged with photography as a serious pursuit, I dug into the photography book collection at the library. That's how I found my way to Walker Evans, who became my touchstone. Evans is perhaps the most influential American photographer, but I felt a particular connection to him because much of his best-known work was done around where I grew up in Alabama. I actually went out into the countryside and found many of the buildings and places he photographed, and from that I gained insights about how he framed the picture, the effect of the equipment he used, and so on.