"The best advice I can share with new photographers today is find one thing you are most passionate about in life, and learn to share that passion visually in every picture you take.
For example, say you're passionate about the environment and fashion photography is your field, then study the work of Steven Meisel from his Oil and Water story. Or maybe you love landscapes and you're passionate about nature and the great outdoors, then study the work of Ansel Adams.
Learn to speak visually about what you love. All too often I see young photographers trying to shoot everything and anything, but that only shows you have no focus. Find your focus and stay true to it.
If you're at any convention where you see Matthew speaking/teaching on the schedule, run don't walk to grab a seat. His words are as inspirational as the background to his images. Check out his website and follow him on Facebook. He's always sharing great information. He has a never-ending love for education, and helping photographers raise the bar on their understanding of great portraiture and lighting.
Images copyright Matthew Jordan Smith. All rights reserved.
A classic portrait of Gordon Parks
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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.