Inspirations: Rodney Smith


RODNEY SMITH – Photography Inspiration

Rodney Smith (born December 24, 1947) is a New York based fashion and portrait photographer.

Smith primarily photographed with a 35mm Leica M4 before he transitioned to a 120mm (medium format) Hasselblad with a 80mm lens. He prefers natural light to illuminate his subjects, but occasionally will use continuous lighting. Smith shot predominantly in black and white, until 2002, when he first began to experiment with color film. His work is commonly referred to as classic, minimalistic, and whimsical. – Wikipedia

After graduating, Smith went though a long period of struggling to find both his vision and a way to earn a living. He supplemented prints sales by teaching, putting collections together for corporations and basically living the life of a starving artist. “I never really knew from one month to the next how I was going to live,” he recalls. His first break in corporate work came when a friend who owned an ad agency hired him to shoot a black and white ad campaign for Northrop – which was shortly followed by a plum annual report assignment from Heinz – an opportunity that helped transform a lifelong devotion into a prosperous career. – http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/features/imagesOfGrace/bio.shtml

The greatest test for a photograph is if the two-dimensional image imbedded in its fibers can stand the test of time. With Rodney Smith’s elegant aesthetic and compositional prowess applied to creative concepts, the paper itself may one day fade, but the memory of the imagery will not. – http://www.digitalphotopro.com/profiles/rodney-smith-old-school-with-a-modern-twist/

Rodney Smith
“I’ve worried about photography. Many successful photographers these days are compositing their pictures. They’re putting together multiple pictures to make one. They’re becoming more like illustrators. Retouchers are becoming more important than the photographer. The photographer is becoming more of a technician than a visionary. Pretty soon the retoucher is going to want as much credit as the photographer. That’s okay. But it’s not the photography I know.” – Rodney Smith