Scott Mead was born in Washington, DC, and attended high school outside Boston and universities in the US and UK. He began photographing seriously at around the age of 13 when he received an old camera which had belonged to his grandfather, a former press photographer who he had accompanied on assignments as a small child. He continued his photographic work throughout high school and college, studying with and inspired by Emmet Gowin and William Eggleston, among many others.

In his late 20's, life intervened, in positive ways, and he largely put aside his cameras, although not his vision. He then spent 22 years in investment banking in New York and London, leaving in 2003. By doing so he kept a commitment to himself to change paths by a certain point and allow life's journey to evolve in new directions.

In early 2009, on a dark January evening, he brought ten large boxes, unopened for decades, down from the attic. He broadly recalled that they contained his former photographic life of old cameras, thousands of mostly large-format negatives, prints and other links to this earlier time in life. After this discovery, he spent a significant time going through this material followed by a few years of further investigation and discussions with many very supportive artists, writers and friends.

A solo exhibition and an accompanying book, Looking Back, containing work from earlier times, much of it never printed, then followed. In the subsequent years Mead has had numerous exhibitions and participated in group shows including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Most recently Mead exhibited his Above the Clouds series in a solo presentation at Hamiltons Gallery, accompanied by a book of the same title, published by Prestel. His photographs are in many institutional and private collections around the world. All profits from book and print sales are donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, where one of his children was cured of a life-threatening illness many years ago.

Mead lives in London and spends extensive time in New York with frequent travels elsewhere. He serves on many not-for-profit boards in the US and UK and actively supports emerging artists, education, medical research and many other initiatives through The Mead Family Foundation, of which he is Founder and Chairman.