Sydney's Scottie Henderson is a qualified fitness coach, creative director, and lifestyle photographer who finds endless inspiration in an active lifestyle. Scottie spoke to Mister Wolf about his passions, his favourite workout spots and his belief that nice shoes and a good watch can take you anywhere.
You combine creative direction, photography and fitness, at what point did those things come together for you?
I studied sports and exercise management with a major in marketing and I’ve always worked with clients who are in the health and fitness industry. Being around those kind of people inspired me to get moving and to start training with them. It is a lot easier to be creative and create content that is in line with what you are interested in and where your passions lie.
I was working with all these great athletes who I formed friendships with and then I started training with them. In an effort to get to know what they did better, I started studying training techniques and got my Certificate IV in Fitness. Then I had all this information that I wanted to pass on.
Would you say you have a similar approach to how you train to how you perhaps create creative content?
Definitely. I create content with people who have similar training techniques to myself. When we’re taking photos – particularly if it is not a real workout – it means I am able to direct them and correct technique as we go along so that the photos look genuine and the videos are actually a real reflection of the work out.
What do you aim to convey with your images?
I never want to convey that exercise or working out is pretty. There is nothing kind of worse than that expectation versus reality thing. You have people who are working out and training in photos but their hair is done perfectly, the girls have make up on and they aren’t sweating.
I think it is a lot more interesting to create content where people are actually working hard and that can come across. It is still possible for people to look good and aspirational while they are working hard. They just won’t have their make up done and won’t be perfect.
As well as your work as a trainer and creative director/photographer, you are a co-founder of a business called, ALL I SEA, can you tell me about that and how it came about?
ALL I SEA is active swimwear. It is activewear you can swim in and swimwear you can work out in.
I have a business partner Keri and together we used to train with former Olympic swimmer and gold medallist Leisel Jones. We were having lunch after a training session and were saying that we wanted to go for a swim down the beach but we hadn’t brought our swimmers and the ocean water would rot our activewear. So we said ‘why don’t we create a product that fills the gap of what we need?’
Triathlon is the perfect example of the kind of sport that All I Sea works for, but it also responds to the whole Crossfit emergence. People don’t want to be locked into just going to the gym for a workout or just doing a swim, they want to have the option to do everything and they want to be multi-athletes. All I Sea is just a clothing vehicle to allow them to participate in whatever they want to.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day I get up and train clients until about 10am, then I train myself. Then I come back and do all my ALL I SEA work. If I have a shoot that day, most of the time when I shoot, particularly with athletes, it will be in the morning.
What kind of clients do you photograph?
They aren’t the ones that I train. I am super lucky in that I get to take photos of the top personal trainers in Sydney because of the gyms that I go to and work at. They are all personal trainers, some are Crossfit, some are strength and conditioning. Boxing coaches. But what separates them from other personal trainers is that they are all ones who work for themselves or they are out there promoting that health and fitness lifestyle. They aren’t your Fitness First trainer who turns up, clocks on and clocks off and that’s it.
They really live and breathe the brand and it is a lifestyle thing.
You are obviously extremely active, how does your Mister Wolf watch complement that lifestyle?
I wear an Apple Watch when I am working out but that is mostly because I am interested in my heart rate. My Mister Wolf watch is dressy and casual at the same time. I can wear it to meetings and it will still look slim and sporty and cool enough that I can wear it with my activewear and it doesn’t look out of place. But then when I go out to dinner, it does look dressy.
Apart from the versatility, what else is it that you like about your MW1?
I really like the simplicity and that you could personalise it. Sometimes you can see a product and it is so close to what you want but you can’t make it exactly what you want, where in this you could.
Nice shoes and a nice watch and you can get away with anything.
I picked a model with the tan ban, white face and silver casing. I wear a lot of black so wanted my watch to stand out from that, I also didn’t want a black band and silver for me goes with everything. It was the simplicity.
How would you describe your personal style?
Very casual, quite laid back, quite simple as well. I am not a huge collared shirt wearer. I never usually wear prints on my shirts, I never wear ties or cufflinks or any of that. It is just always t-shirts, black or white. Really simple.
I guess so! I try and wear nice shoes to dress it up though. Nice shoes and a nice watch and you can get away with anything.
Scottie’s Guide to Sydney’s Best Beaches and Workout Spots
Favourite workout spot in Sydney? And why?
I’m very biased, but the gym I go to in Darlinghurst would have to be the top of my list. 98 Riley has created an unmatched culture, it’s an incredibly supportive, and the values that the trainers live by are genuine and authentic.
Having said that, sometimes it’s great to break the routine and sneak in a run along the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk early in the morning. If you beat the crowds, you can sometimes get sunrise all to yourself.
Sydney’s best kept secret or something people might not know about the area you live in.
Ben Buckler Point in North Bondi is a great hidden gem, especially for a swim or a workout. I often do boxing workouts with Transpose Fitness above the boat shed, then take a dip right off the rocks. The water is crystal clear and you can still look out over Bondi, but you’re removed enough from the hustle and bustle to clear your head and grab a moment to yourself.
Favourite beach in Australia and why?
That would have to be Celitos Beach near Smiths Lakes. It’s about a 3 hour drive north of Sydney. Part of the adventure is driving down a dirt road to get there, then a small walk through an amazing rainforest to get to the beach. Once you’re there, you have your own private stretch of pure white sand, clean water, and a great surf break. I have had probably three of the best five surfs of my life there, including one trip where it was just my mate and myself surfing with a pod of dolphins. I didn’t have my camera out in the water that day, but I’m kind of glad because no picture could have done that moment justice.
Favourite beach overseas and why?
Playa Tamarindo in Costa Rica. The sunsets and surf at that beach are unlike any I’ve ever seen before. There are a lot of small deserted beaches surrounding that area that are also perfect little hideaways, with amazing volcanic rocky outcrops and coconuts littering the sand. It’s extremely hard to get to but really worth the hustle.