Photo Copyright Matthew Jordan Smith – Used With Permission

Regular readers know that I am perhaps one of the luckiest people in the world. I am friends or associates with some of the finest photographers on the planet. I regularly get to shoot or teach or speak alongside the best.

Many of you also know I deeply respect and admire Matthew Jordan Smith. I happen to think he is an iconic photographer who will be remembered for his ability to capture raw emotion in anyone.

And….regular readers know that I am not pretty nor am I fond of having my photograph taken. In fact, 90% of the reason I became a photographer was to avoid having my picture made. Let’s face it, I have a face built for radio.

But every once in a while I get lucky and run into someone who is so good at their craft, so passionate about their art and so able to draw me out of my shell that I get an image of me that I think is passable.

This portrait made of me by Matthew is such a portrait. It’s amazing to see myself and think I don’t 100% suck! The only reason I don’t is that a real, genuine, talented, giving and patient photographer made the shot.

Matthew had VERY little to work with. He had an unattractive model, one beauty dish, two foam core boards on C-stands and no sync cord. So he made the shot using the modeling light from the beauty dish and we used this guitar that was sitting around the studio as a prop. (Hint – when photographing men – give them something – ANYTHING – to do with their hands and the shot will work much better.)

Since I am a guitar player, it was a perfect fit and the few people out there in the world who are close to me love the shot.

But wait – there’s more to the story.

There is another thing to talk about and that is what it is like to sit for a talented pro. I highly recommend all of you reading this seek out a gifted craftsperson to make your portrait. It’s good experience to sit on the other side of the lens and to feel what your clients feel when you ask THEM to pose. It’s an enlightening and educational experience.

I appreciate the fact that the great Matthew Jordan Smith – who is usually photographing beautiful movie stars or musicians like Oprah and Beyonce  – took the time to give me this gift.

If you haven’t heard of Matthew before now – well get busy studying his work. You’ll be better off for it and if you are lucky enough to run into him at a convention or workshop, try to get him to make your portrait. If he can do this for me, imagine what he can do for you!


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