Hi, I’m Ari.
I’ve spent 15 years working as a writer and photographer. Before that, I was in a variety of administrative positions in human resources and finance. Before that, I waited tables. And before that, I was planning on being a psychologist.
I’ve accumulated a wide range of skills over the years, and I think I am particularly good at writing in different voices, editing text for grammar and story, proofreading, and communicating.
I have extensive experience with WordPress, Squarespace, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), photography, social media, graphic and web design, and digital content creation.
I also spent a good number of years writing and directing live sketch comedy.
Online Examples of My Work
My Body Is A Machine
I started this personal blog in 2017 as a way to document my running journey. Since then, I’ve used it as a platform to write about things other than running – mostly, the recent deaths of my parents. Select writing samples on my portfolio page. (WordPress.com)
The Frugal Spinster
Before the pandemic hit in early 2020, I had been thinking about starting a food blog; lockdown provided the perfect excuse to do it. I launched this site in August 2020, focusing mostly on vegan single serving food. All the writing and photography is my own. (WordPress.org)
Ari Scott Photography
My photography site. I recently started a blog where I will cover all things headshots, photo sessions, NYC locations, and more. (Squarespace)
Main Work Experience
I’m including some in-depth descriptions of what my roles entailed.
Photographer and Owner – Ari Scott Photography
I’ve been a freelance photographer since purchasing my first DSLR in 2007. Any gaps in my resume were spent doing this work.
I’ve mostly done headshots, but I have also taken thousands of comedy and performance photos, as well as event photography, engagement/family/wedding photos, food photography, and more. I’ve worked in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Burlington, VT, and Long Island.
Being a good photographer requires advanced organizational and communication skills, a sharp eye for detail, and a deep understanding of knowing what is needed and how to deliver it. More than just knowledge of camera settings, lighting, and composition, photography is about understanding what you’re shooting and how to showcase the subject in the best possible light.
Social media – New York Harriers
In addition to being this NYC running club’s Vice President, I manage and curate their Instagram account (@newyorkharriers), and write for their internal weekly newsletter (Mailchimp) and blog (Squarespace).
In addition to creating decks, I researched and pitched many ideas for potential series in the reality/documentary world, mostly based off of current news stories, studies, and fascinating “worlds” of people.
This was an initial three-week gig that turned into over a year until the company decided to downsize the development department. Until then, I wrote pitch decks for a variety of networks including Bravo, E!, Discovery, Food Network, Lifetime, MTV, VH1, and more. Each of these decks, from design to layout to voice, had a completely different style depending on the network.
Graphic design was not part of the initial job description, but I was fortunate to have some experience with it, using my knowledge to arrange text and photos in a way that made the decks look polished and professional. Using primarily Photoshop for this, I was able to improve on the quality of their former decks as far as design and layout.
One invaluable lesson I learned in this position was how to work with a variety of people across a production company; from casting directors, to producers, to assistants, to VPs. It takes an army of people to create a series, and in my role at Sharp I was fortunate to see the inner workings of a company that had successfully created many hit shows, from 90 Day Fiancé to Man v. Food to Bad Ink and more.
Contact me for pitch deck samples.
For a few years, the AMC network aired movies on weekday nights that contained real-time trivia, facts, and behind-the-scenes stories. This trivia would appear briefly at the bottom of the screen during airing. Each Story Notes writer was assigned a movie; we had two weeks to research and write notes for the entire movie, including choosing the exact placement for each piece of trivia and writing outros for commercial breaks.
This job was more complex than it sounds, as not only did we have a certain “voice” that had to remain consistent from writer to writer, but we could not rely on user-generated sites like Wikipedia for research. Rather, we combed through director commentary tracks, biographies, articles, and interviews to ensure we had the most accurate information possible. In a way, we were information detectives.
We also had to be aware of the story we were telling with these pieces of trivia, keeping in mind not just each individual fact, but the entire arc of various threads throughout our notes.
This position required being highly detail-oriented as well as being acutely aware of the bigger picture.
Finally, our spelling, grammar, and syntax had to be impeccable.
Associate Editor – Hulu
I had this role for five months in early 2016 as a temporary replacement for someone on maternity leave – a very short position that I almost didn’t include on here, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
My primary role was to select clips and write headlines and captions for Hulu’s “Trending” section on their homepage. This included clips from late night shows, morning shows, popular television series, news shows, and more.
Sifting through dozens of clips each night, I had to keep in mind the types of clips Hulu customers wanted to see, the voice of the platform, and what would make compelling stills and copy.
I worked from home, overnight, and once a week I traveled to their Santa Monica headquarters for an editorial meeting – not a requirement on my part, but since I had a strong desire to work there on a permanent basis, I did all I could to be involved. I also briefly contributed to Hulu’s blog, something they were hoping to get off the ground but, ultimately, did not make a priority.
Writer, Director, Photographer, etc. – Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
I could probably write an entire book about my experience at UCB Theatre. I will spare you the book, but I will summarize what I did at the theatre.
I was not paid for anything I did at UCB except for a few photography and musical accompaniment jobs. Still, I put an extraordinary amount of time and energy there, from my days as a student in 2005 -2007 to the sketch show I wrote and directed in 2017. The lessons I learned – even if in unpaid roles – were invaluable.
I was a writer for UCB house sketch teams (aka Maude teams) from 2008 to 2014. Each team consisted of several writers, actors, and a director. We were responsible for putting on a brand new half hour sketch show each month at the theatre, which usually had a full audience. I probably wrote a few hundred sketches over the years with about 60-80 of them performed in front of a live audience.
After writing sketch for a few years, I started to direct other sketch shows. This involved overseeing each writers’ meeting and rehearsal, making suggestions to clarify and strengthen each sketch, casting, blocking, lighting, and helping to create a consistent voice for each team.
I photographed thousands of shows at UCB over the years, from Harold Night to the Del Close Marathon to solo shows to house team portraits. Many of them can be seen on my photography site.
As I have a background in music, I began accompanying musical improv groups on piano in 2008. I did this for a few years, eventually performing as a pianist for Baby Wants Candy, I Eat Pandas, Diamond Lion, and various musical improv classes. This was not only fun, but resulted in some great lessons in (musical) communication. It required listening skills I didn’t even know I had. I also co-wrote a musical.
For about a year, I worked in the theatre’s tech booth, doing everything from playing music before and after shows, selecting improv blackout moments, and helping directors choose lighting for their shows.