MEET PHOTOGRAPHER: RONNIE SMITH / by Julia-Marie Reyes

A Rock N Roll musician turned fashion photographer. How does that happen you ask? Inspiration. Ronnie Smith has always been a sponge absorbing every ounce of creativity since childhood. When music was introduced to Ronnie Smith at a young age, fashion and photography were sure to follow. They are all part of the same symbiotic relationship. With a positive outlook and drive like Ronnie‚Äôs it is no wonder his career has been and continues to be so amazing. With a unique blend of experience and passion Ronnie manages to capture more than just pictures, he captures a split second in time. We were lucky enough to get to peak behind the curtain of his world and learn more about Ronnie Smith Photography. 

Tell us about your art and how you got involved with photography.

At the age of 5 my two teenage girl neighbors would baby sit my sister and I. They would put headphones on us and sit us in front of the record player with albums from David Bowie, T REX, KISS, Led Zeppelin, Lou Reed, Rolling Stones and, the like and make us listen. I would stare at the album covers for hours trying figure out what the hell was going on!!  At the same time they would be looking at all the latest Fashion magazines and I was hooked!! Rock n Roll and girls! I started playing guitar at the age of 8 and played in bands then eventually off to Berklee collage of music where my roommate had a camera, He would show me the technical end of it all and I eventually got it and off I went!!! Still playing in bands I moved to NYC chasing a beautiful redhead girl, we moved in together and she would let me photograph her everyday in every way in various states of dress and undress! she was a big fashion girl, she was a great muse! My music career took off a bit and shooting went on the back burner for a few years. I grew tired of touring and playing in bars all the time and took some time off and eventually got into assisting a photographer through a friend. I got in with a fashion guy and quickly got strobe and color processing together. He shot commercial work as well so it was a mixed bag all the time. I remember my first gig with him I was hanging out of a helicopter above the World Trade Center towers with no doors on it leaning side ways loading 3 35mm cameras with huge 400mm lenses between my legs hoping not to fall out or drop one. I eventually became friends with a big photographer from LA who was working a big job in NYC and we hit it off and I assisted him for a few years while still playing music and then struck out on my own.

What was a pivotal moment for your photography career?

When my work ran in Rolling Stone Magazine

What has been your favorite set to work on? Why?

All sets! Because it's play time and who doesn't like play time!?

What is one of the proudest moments in your career?

When I was asked to shoot for a second time for a big client because I knocked the first job out of the park!!!

What are some things you enjoy when you aren't shooting?

I enjoy playing and recording music still, Kart racing, Watching Formula One, MotoGP and playing with my wieners! LOL I have two Dachshunds!!! Also working and hanging out with my beautiful makeup artist wife.

What is your favorite part about being on set?

Craft Services!

What does #createmoments mean to you?

#createmoments..... Don't sit on the sidelines! Make stuff! Do things! Get dirty! Make a mark! Art is the only thing that will be here when you split!!

What is one thing your fans may not know about you?

I played music on national Television.

What advice can you provide for future photographers?

Know your history, don't follow other photographers, shoot for yourself, if people like it they will pay for it...and get ready to starve a bit. Have fun!

Check out Ronnie in Action

Website: ronniesmithphotography

Instagram: @officalronniesmith

Tumblr: @ronniesmithphotography