I met this guy in a well lit boardroom in a small little agency in Fortitude Valley. Immediately his presence, personality and talent had me thinking, “I wanna work with you”. His shoots show just a glimpse of his genuine personality. He captures the best in his subjects who are usually not hired talent (well in my shoots they’re not anyway). He puts it in much nicer words than I do “Photographs have a way of spectacularly capturing the unspectacular. Those uneventful microseconds in life that combine to make up an overall amazing moment.” Not only is he great to work and collaborate with he’s also very forthcoming when asked any questions about his profession. Introducing Kenny Smith…
What’s your day job?:
I’m a freelance people and lifestyle photographer working primarily for clients in the advertising industry. I guess that means I don’t have a day job, but I haven’t always been like that, I managed working a day job for a couple years to support my family until I got to a point where I could live off my work. I’ve always tried to do the work I wanted to do regardless of where my living was coming from, rather than be a dude with a camera looking to make a buck. The rest eventually followed.
What did you wanna be when you grew up?:
I wanted to be a musician. I played in bands all through my high school years. Thats what I wanted to do, rock n’ roll.
If you where a super hero what would your super hero name be?:
Super Cat Nap Man, I love a good cat nap. It’s my superpower.
What inspires you on a day to day basis?:
People who are passionate about something.
Tell me a bit about your professional journey – how’d you get here?:
I grew up with photography, more so in the fine art area. And when I was 10 I was given this film camera and was hooked, I remember shooting with it all the time. Then when I got a bit older I started playing music and that really consumed me, especially in how I expressed myself creatively, it really was my sole creative outlet. A few years later I started shooting again, now digitally, and after some real encouragement from a few close friends to get more serious with it I started putting a portfolio together, and sharing it. In all honesty I’m still doing that, shooting, getting encouragement and sharing. Somewhere in there a career formed and that’s all I do now. Stoked
If you had one piece of advice for aspiring creatives, what would it be?:
Forget the hype, form a clear goal or vision and start walking towards it, on step at a time, and don’t stop walking. Simple! I need to remind myself that all the time.
What’s been the most challenging part of your job?:
Remembering the above.
What’s your fav part of your job & fav piece of work you’ve done?
My favourite part is working with all the cool people I meet on a daily basis. I get to work with some really passionate people and I love that vibe of working as a team to pull something off. It’s a real high when you’re making stuff. My favourite work so far is the more raw stuff I’m getting to do now commercially, back to where my interest in photography started, with people. I went through a stage where I felt that to be in advertising things had to be done in a difficult way, now I’m trying to be more about content and less about technique.
What’s your current facebook status?:
Either shameless self promotion about a job that I shot 6 months ago, or an iPhone photo of a meal I’m about to eat. Yes you needed to know about both.
If you could have dinner with anyone (alive of dead) who would it be?:
Tough one, depends on my mood but probably Steve Jobs, he’d definitely be inspirational and then maybe he could get my home button working on my phone again. Either that or Charlie Sheen, we’d party.