“I’ve always had a fascination with a single lone tree. They are so majestic, like a soldier on the prairie. Anytime I’m driving and I see a lone tree, I pull over. It’s like my mantra; See a tree, pull over. Anyone who rides in my car knows those are the rules and has to accept that.”
Award-winning Fargo photographer Scott Seiler laughs at what seems on the surface to be a harmless quirk, yet is really one of the secrets to his success. Never miss an opportunity—yet his stunning images are hardly impulsive, as he will often revisit a site multiple times in different lighting and seasons to get his “one perfect shot.”
“I like going out hunting and searching for a view that gives the landscape personality,” Seiler said. “Maybe it’s an angle no one has seen before. A lot of my photos are very linear and geometrical. How I position foreground and background is almost a mathematical equation.”
Maybe it’s an angle no one has seen before. A lot of my photos are very linear and geometrical. How I position foreground and background is almost a mathematical equation.”
Proving math can be a powerful tool in the hands of the right artist, Scott’s images both capture memories and evoke strong emotions. One notable example is a photo collage he created after the death of Fargo Police Officer Jason Moszer.
“That incident happened near my home, and when it was over people started putting blue lights on their porches, remembering and honoring what he went through,” Seiler said. “I was intrigued by how the lights changed the look of the architecture of the houses. So I went around and took photos of the different homes lit in different shades and hues of blue, and did a collage. When I put it on display people would stop and ask about it, what it was, and some would want to learn more, and some would talk about law enforcement in their area. It really evoked a response from the community.”
Scott keeps the community in mind, even when creating the rural and landscape photography he is regionally known for.
“I’m always hitting the back roads looking for a piece of that iconic Midwest. So much is changing, going away, evolving. It has a lot of great memories for those who grew up with it, like me, and is an education for those who don’t know what things are, or why something was incorporated into farming or ranching life. I try to keep a simple approach because that allows the viewer to glean their own emotion from it.”
If Scott isn’t working at Gallery 4 in Downtown Fargo where he is a featured artist, he can be found connecting with the community at trade shows in the summer and throughout the year.
“I think an important part of being an artist is sharing and getting feedback from other people,” he said. “You have these great conversations. Hearing what people think about a piece, I will appreciate my work in a different way. Or it might spark a whole new outlook or series of photography. I feel like each time I take a photo it is the culmination of everything that’s come before.”
The stories Scott shares with his photography add up to a simple, but powerful equation: Math + Emotion = Inspirational Art.