Monday, July 26, 2010

Matthew Jordan Smith | Creative Experience Seminar

On July 19th and 20th I had the extreme pleasure to attend the Matthew Jordan Smith Creative Experience Seminar in Akron, Ohio. Matthew is a world renown photographer who's client list reads like a who's who of the fashion, beauty and celebrity world -- Tyra Banks, Vanessa Williams, Oprah and Aretha Franklin, just to name a few. Most important, he's one of the warmest, most giving individuals I've had ever met. In two days he shared so much of his knowledge and insight into this business it was at times hard to keep up with notes.

Some colleagues asked why I went to a workshop when I've been shooting for so long. Simply, you never stop learning. Sure, some things Matthew discussed were not new, but there still were many things I learned for the first time and even those things I knew, it was good to hear them again. Everyone has something they can learn and adapt to what they do or how they work regardless of how long they've been making photos. It was a privilege to meet Matthew and a joy to be able to call him a new friend.

One of the fun aspects of the seminar was the model shoot. Rebecca Shore is a model from the Cleveland area that was hired for the day. Matthew found her on While everyone started with the typical "girl on white background shots", Matthew stressed to be creative with locations. I found the location for my photos in the men's room! You never know where you find the right light and location.

Of course, no fashion shoot is ever complete without a great make-up artist on your T.E.A.M. (Together Each Achieves More) and Heather Smith was absolutely the BEST! If you're looking to hire an uber talented make-up professional you can reach her at

I would be very remiss if I didn't mention one of the greatest aspects of a seminar -- meeting other professionals. This was a small seminar (by design) so everyone got a lot of one-on-one attention. Everyone is now connected to each other and I suspect many good friendships will form.

And a very special shout out has to go to one person from the class, Chris Blank. Because of an out of town photo assignment I had to leave the seminar early on Tuesday. In my rush to get out the door I unknowingly dropped my legal pad full of notes. Chris rescued my papers and immediately sent them out to me. Thank you, Chris!

Thank you Matthew for a great Experience! I'm looking forward to talking with you again soon.

Heather Smith preparing make-up

Rebecca Shore

Matthew photographing Rebecca

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