Bruce Smith Fashion Photographer Author Tutor: PROFILE
He began his 35-year career by getting fired as a photo assistant after two years of brewing tea, sweeping the studio floors and fetching equipment for several studio photographers. He decided to go solo and set up my own photo studio, specializing in shooting models’ portfolios, portraits and the occasional fashion shoot.
He was inspired by the photographers from the ‘30s to the ‘60s, including Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson, David Baily, Barry Lategan, John F French, Horst P Horst, William Klein, Irving Penn, Richard Avendon, George Hoyningen-Huene, and many more.
His first big break in fashion photography came while setting up a test shoot with a model, he arranged to borrow some Fifties’ style gowns from a top fashion designer that sold her clothes through exclusive stores such as Harrods in London. This test shoot became a commission, and the pictures that he produced were published in Avante Guard, one of the UKs leading fashion magazines, at the time.
He switched to shooting just fashion and set off to London in the early Eighties. Confident and adventurous he was on the ladder to establishing himself as a freelance fashion shooter. The next few years were spent developing his own style and reputation, test shoots with models and endless appointments with fashion editors, art directors, designers and potential clients.
He mailed samples of his work to the couture and bridal wear designers, and was picked up by Catherine Raynor - a leading UK bridal wear couture designer who had previously worked with some of the world’s most prestigious photographers including Norman Parkinson, Terrance Donavan and John Swanell. Raynor commissioned me to shoot her next collection. Her status within the bridal wear industry, and the success of the images that he had produced for her, created a chain reaction with a queue of top bridal wear and couture designers clambering at his studio door to shoot their collections.
The next major step came with a commission from a leading UK bridal wear consumer magazine to shoot two editorial stories for them on location in Tobago. This led to many years of shooting high fashion for some of the top designers, and manufacturers of couture and bridal wear., including Catherine Raynor, Margaret Lee Lyn Ashworth, Eleni Costi plus many other top names in couture and designer bridal wear.
Inspired by some of his classic fashion images, an art director from top London design consultancies asked him to present his portfolio to them, with the view to shooting an image brochure for a leading lingerie company in the UK. This began a long list of lingerie and hosiery and swimwear clients commissioning him to shoot their collections including, Charnos, Lapel, Silhouette, MissKini, Panache, etc etc
He has shot many ad campaigns, image brochures and catalogues, producing fashion shoots in some of the world most beautiful and exotic locations from Alaska to Kenya. Shooting on location, with all of its challenges, taught him to shoot fast with available light. He receives commissions to arrange complete production for major fashion shoots, including the sourcing of the production teams, location managers, catering, location transport, even helicopters and arctic supply vessels.
In the late 90s he began shooting in digital. There are so many benefits, its speed of production for press and post-production regarding retouching, etc, which is now in his own hands, ensuring his images get reproduced how he envisage them to be.
Just published books
Since 2002 I have been teaching beginners, intermediates and advanced photographers how to shoot fashion photography, practically and creatively with energy emotion and sensitivity.
Helping photographers to understand that what the viewers of images respond to is the energy and the content that the photographer inputs into their images.
If you can imagine:
The photographer is the conductor
The model is the orchestra
The viewer is the audience
If you dont direct energy emotion and feelings to your model, they will not project energy emotion and feelings into the images and intern the viewer of the images will not feel the energy emotion and feeling, just as with a badly conducted piece of music.
In order to entertain the viewer of your images, you have to entertain your model to entertain the viewer..