“I’m an art school dropout…this is what it looks like,” Priscilla Scott said to me over drinks last September. We had been talking for a while about her teenage years and early adulthood, when she first started taking pictures. It was in high school in San Jose, California that she began taking pictures on assignment — specifically, she was on the yearbook staff, an experience she didn’t care for. “[The faculty leader] expected so much from a creative-artistic view,” she said, but he didn’t offer much mentorship. He would complain that the staff’s photographs were insufficiently candid, that they were just posed pictures of people’s friends. For better or for worse, though, yearbook was where Scott learned about taking unposed pictures of people.
She finished high school in Fresno, and after graduating, she moved with her high school boyfriend to Los Angeles, where he was due to start college at California State University, Northridge. “I hated living in Fresno, and I just wanted to get out of a small town,” she told me. “There wasn’t anything there.” That was twelve years ago, and today she says she considers Los Angeles home.