How did you become a photographer?

I have had a camera in my hand since I could walk and it’s still with me. I was born to be a photographer. I see the world through a viewfinder. I can’t shut it off. When I graduated high school, I passed up an opportunity to study at an art school. I was afraid others wouldn’t take my photography seriously, so I joined the Marines. After the military, I became a firefighter. On my days off, I shot wedding and family photos. I have won numerous awards and my images have appeared around the world, on billboards and in art galleries.

Why kayak fishing?

The short answer is community. The best people in the world paddle these little plastic boats. The first time I really felt the common bond was the 2018 KBF National Championship on Kentucky Lake. I was hooked. After leaving the fire department, I asked my wife if I could take a year to chase my kayak fishing dreams.

I started knocking on doors with camera in hand. I worked hard to prove myself and it paid off. Now, I work with seven different companies. I host two live talk shows and manage SnapScott Photography and Scott Beutjer Fishing. It sounds like a lot, but kayak fishing has been a blessing.

What was your toughest shoot?

None of my shoots are tough. I served in the Marines and as a firefighter; I have dealt with challenges most people can’t imagine. With my camera, I watch a guy land his personal best catch or celebrate a tournament victory. I want to remember these moments forever.

from fireman to photographer. living the dream job he never knew he wanted. | Photo: Scott Beutjer
From fireman to photographer. living the dream job he never knew he wanted. | Photo: Scott Beutjer

What is your favorite location?

I enjoy shooting in locations most others would pass up. I see the world with a different view, which is why I have had success in photography. When you combine skill and hard work you find glory in the end.

Share your best photography hack.

It’s challenging to keep up with pro anglers who seem to be born with a paddle and rod in hand. My friends and I used to follow these guys and girls on TV. Now I get to share stories with them. It’s still a little like a dream traveling the world to amazing places with extraordinary people. 

What’s your favorite camera gear?

Success in photography isn’t always about the gear. I have sold iPhone photos for thousands of dollars. Find a specialty and master it. Then you become invaluable to clients.

In the world of social media and direct marketing, companies are fighting to find the right content. Helping them navigate the online landscape has become the dream job I never knew I wanted.

Give advice to amateur photographers.

Working with clients in the paddlesports industry gives me opportunities to meet the people behind these amazing companies. At the end of the day, everything comes back to people. My calendar is full of excursions and adventures.


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