Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Brian Smith, considers himself to be one of the luckiest guy on the planet. He’s told Bill Gates exactly what to do for an entire hour, appeared on The X Factor, exhibited at the Library of Congress, dined with the President and 3,000 of their closest friends, written an Amazon Best Seller, shared cupcakes with Anne Hathaway, gotten drunk with George Clooney and married the most beautiful woman he ever laid eyes on. I’d say he’s pretty lucky…and blessed. And now, we’re lucky enough to have someone like him on our latest podcast.
Rich Harrington and Brian have an insightful and informative conversation about shooting portraits, retouching, his advice on working with people and his latest projects.
For the past 30 years, Brian Smith’s iconic portraits of famous celebrities, athletes and executives have been used in advertising, by corporations and have graced the covers and pages of hundreds of magazines including Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, Time, Forbes, New York Times Magazine, Elle and British GQ.
His first magazine photograph appeared in LIFE Magazine when Smith was a 20-year-old student at the University of Missouri. Five years later, Smith won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for his photographs of the Los Angeles Olympic Games. He was again a finalist for the Pulitzer for his photographs of Haiti in Turmoil. His photograph of Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board at the Seoul Olympics won first place in both World Press Photo and the Pictures of the Year competition.
I was absolutely honored to get a signed copy of his new book ‘Art & Soul’. This book is photographed in partnership with The Creative Coalition and Sony, which pairs Smith’s iconic portraits of celebrities from film, television, stage and music with their personal messages about the importance of funding the arts. His imagery along with the messages that each celebrity included are true inspirations. His second book ‘Secrets of Great Portrait Photography‘ shares his stories from his last 30 years photographing portraits of the famous and infamous.
Brian Smith’s work has been exhibited at the Library of Congress, Aperture Gallery, Chelsea Art Museum and the W Los Angeles. He’s appeared on The X Factor, Israel Channel One and Fine Living Network. His awards include the Pulitzer Prize, American Photography, Communication Arts Photography Awards, World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year, Best of Photojournalism, One Eyeland People Photographer of the Year, American Photo magazine’s New Faces in Photography, AltPick Awards and Photo District News Awards.
He is president of Editorial Photographers and a Sony Artisan of Imagery, Lowepro Featured Photographer and X-Rite Coloratti. His work has been featured on the covers of the Photo District News and Professional Photographer and in Communication Arts, After/Capture, American Photo, Popular Photography, Digital Photo Pro, Emerging Photographer, Inside Edge, PDN and Rangefinder magazines. His photography assignments have taken him to six continents racking up four million air miles yet they have always brought Smith and his wife Fazia Ali home to Miami Beach.
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