"What advice would I give photographers just starting out?
Work Harder. Talent is important, but long-term success is a by-product of hard work. Work harder than the next guy or girl.
Shoot Less Think More. Rather than blasting away with a motor drive, slow down. Pay attention to your subject and what's going on around them. Think about what you want the images to say.
Learn your technique then put it out of your mind. Just like a musician practices their scales - know exactly what your gear can do before you shoot. Then focus your attention on your subject.
What happens on the other side of your lens it's far more important than the camera in your hand. Never forget that the most important thing you ever bring to a shoot is your mind.
Love Life. Never, ever forget that photography should be FUN - not only for you, but for whoever is in front of your lens. If you're having a great time, it's more likely your subjects will as well."
Building a project like SCU is one of those things that brings a lot of people together, all with a common cause, in this case, working hard to elevate education. Brian Smith and I had never officially met or talked prior to IUSA several years back, but we share a whole bunch of mutual friends in the industry. His work is stunning and he's definitely somebody who needs to be on your radar. Plus, if you've read only a handful of my posts then you know we have far more in common than just mutual friends and a belief in education.
The opening couple of lines on his bio say so much...
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Brian Smith is 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…
To that opening sentence in his bio add his last line above: "Love Life!" It's is the whole point of working so hard...photography isn't just about the passion for the craft, but the human spirit, especially your own.
Brian's site and blog should be regular stops for you and follow him on twitter.
Images copyright Brian Smith. All rights reserved.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.