The Best Is Yet to Come! October 2, 2014 – Posted in: Photography – Tags: ,

How Tony Bennett Convinced Me to Join Rocky Nook… The Best Is Yet to Come!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing Tony Bennett with my mom and brothers. To be honest, I was excited to spend time with my family, but was less than enthusiastic about seeing Mr. Bennett. Sure, he’s a legend, but he’s 88 years old; how good could he be these days?

I couldn’t have been more wrong; he was fantastic! And, more important, I learned a lot during the show without even trying!

©Scott Cowlin iPhone 5

© Scott Cowlin iPhone 5


You see, on the night of the show I was a little distracted by a big life decision. After 14 years I was considering leaving my job for an exciting new adventure (the job is here at Rocky Nook, so you may be able to jump ahead and figure out my decision.) Instead of focusing on the dulcet tones of Mr. Bennett, my mind was swimming with the questions you think about when making such decisions:


  • Is this the best choice for my family?
  • What about my friends?
  • I already have a job I like, with people I care about, what am I thinking?

At some point I let myself relax and enjoy the show and things started to come to together.

With the help of Mr. Bennett’s music and performance that night I learned three lessons that not only helped me make my decision, but also come with me as I start my new adventure with Rocky Nook:

Lesson #1: New beginnings are exciting and should be embraced.

Look at Tony Bennett. Just imagine how many times he has pushed himself to do something new? For example, he just released an album with Lady Gaga, which is a massive success. Who saw that coming?

Lesson #2: When making a big decision, keep an open mind.

Remember, all opinions, even your own, are just that—opinions. Many are simply wrong, even your own. If I hadn’t relaxed and let go of my preconceptions I would have missed an opportunity to learn. As we all pursue our photographic visions it’s easy to get discouraged. We take others’ criticisms—and our own—too seriously, we let doubt creep into our work and wind up missing out on opportunities to expand our horizons.

Scott Photographer-5

©Ken Cowlin 1971

Lesson #3: Find something you love and keep doing it until you can’t do it anymore.

Tony loves performing; I love books, photography, and helping people learn about the things they love. He is lucky enough to do what he loves for a living. I am lucky in the same way, and I try to never forget it! The picture above is of me when I was about 4 years old with my trusty old Fisher-Price camera. My love of photography has been a constant in my life, from developing film in junior high school, to creating a darkroom in my childhood bedroom, to my recent switch to a mirrorless camera.

Ask anyone who knows me well to describe what makes me tick, and one of the first things out of their mouths will be “he is a reader.”

I devour books.

I love them, and I get grumpy if I don’t get enough time to read.

It is with these lessons from Mr. Bennett and my passion for books, publishing, and photography that I join Rocky Nook. In the end the decision was easy. This is a great opportunity that fits me perfectly; I am excited to be part of the Rocky Nook team, and I can’t wait to meet everyone in the Rocky Nook community. To quote my new favorite singer:

Out of the tree of life I just picked me a plum
You came along and everything’s startin’ to hum
Still, it’s a real good bet, the best is yet to come!

Scott Cowlin is the Managing Director & Publisher for Rocky Nook. He can be found on Twitter at @scottcowlin