Friday, June 1, 2007
Matthew Jordan Smith - Beauty & Light
Matthew Jordan Smith takes inspiration from a wide range of visual sources and creates lasting images that define beauty.
Recognizable by its soft, alluring images, Matthew Jordan Smith's ad work reveals, in part, the man and the talent behind the lens and lights. His uncanny ability to depict the inner romantic and natural charms of his subjects spurs many celebrities to commission him. A long client list that includes Halle Berry, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum and Sarah Ferguson is ample testimony of Smith's gift for capturing an often whimsical and always imaginative glimpse into the souls of his subjects. On one hand, his images draw the viewer into a warm and irresistible world. On the other, they keep the viewer at bay, eyes wide open at exoticism that evokes a mood of far off lands or ancient times.
Speaking with Smith reveals a kind of emotional dichotomy. As a film lover, he speaks frequently of movies that inspire his work—The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Amélie. He's moved to action by stories that have grand and awe-inspiring beauty and realistic stories weaved with fairly-tale elements.
Lighting is a key part of Smith's photography, and great films inspire much of his work. Says Smith, "I was deeply inspired by The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I loved the story, but most importantly, the lighting. I'm obsessed with light. It can be my primary focus sometimes. I love to imitate the light of the sun. Much of my lighting style is 'end-of-day sunlight.' I try to emulate its color, tone, look and angle."
Smith works entirely with hard light to achieve this effect. He believes it delivers the crisp look that has become such a trademark of his photographs. You can't help but be struck by the bright colors and contrasts he creates. From deep, dramatic skies to small highlights from his subjects' skin and eyes, his well thought-out lighting design adds that extra punch.