DPP Home Profiles Matthew Jordan Smith - Beauty & Light

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.

Because he describes much of his work as "catch the moment," Smith needs a camera that can keep up with his fast-paced shooting style—hence his use of the sub-full-frame Canon EOS-1D Mark II instead of a slower camera with a full-frame sensor. Recently, Smith has been featured as the photographer for reality television shows America's Next Top Model and Style Her Famous. For this work, he uses the Hasselblad H2. Says Smith, "You can show the models as they're looking at the images and as they're going over their poses and critiques. It has sharp images and good performance; it's similar to shooting on film. Advertisers like it because they can see the proofs right away, although it's normally too slow for me."

When it comes to postproduction, Smith is hooked on Photoshop. "I love it!" he says. "All day, all night. Can't live without it! In my business, everything thrives on cleaning up images and retouching and storing. Especially in beauty, the skin has to be spotless and beautiful."

Smith is constantly trying to learn the latest and greatest Photoshop techniques, taking much of his lead from interns and students who are commonly versed on the nuances of current computer technology. To Smith, it does seem to be a give-and-take situation, however. He recently had an intern come to work for him who had never loaded a roll of film before! As much as Smith can learn from the next generation, they can have much to learn in the way of classic photography.

As indispensable as Smith finds Photoshop, he's not a special-effects person. Smith is a purist. Whether composing or lighting, he wants his images to be simple and a reflection of pure, real beauty. He'd rather have his images be thought of as "feeling" rather than a Photoshop gimmick.

Says Smith, "My style isn't one to look at and say, 'He always does this technique or that technique, or always uses that camera or equipment.' My images are about capturing a moment, selling a mood. They're romantic and sensual without being sexual; it's much more of a pure feeling."

It's difficult to get through a topic without reference to the word "romantic" when speaking with Matthew Jordan Smith. His world is emotive, stimulating and powerful, and he teases out softer, more romantic and memorable pictures than we're ordinarily given the chance to enjoy in daily life.


To see more of Matthew Jordan Smith's work, visit www.matthewjordansmith.com.



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