Brian Smith (photographer)

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Brian Smith
Brian smith bora bora.jpg
Smith in Bora Bora, August 2003
Born (1959-07-16) July 16, 1959 (age 58)
Ames, Iowa, US
Nationality American
Education University of Missouri
Known for Photography
Awards Pulitzer Prize
Pictures of the Year

Brian Smith (born July 16, 1959) is an American portrait photographer and photojournalist. He may be known best for portraits of actors, business leaders, politicians, and athletes that are at once stylish and telling.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Ames, Iowa, Smith got his start in photography in high school (class of 1981) as a stringer for the Ames Tribune. He received his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. As a 20-year-old student there,[2] his first magazine photograph was published in Life magazine showing the New York Yankees manager Billy Martin crying at the funeral of his player Thurman Munson.


Brian Smith's portraits of celebrities, athletes and business executives have appeared on the covers of magazines, including his photograph of Pope John Paul II, which was featured on the cover of the Newsweek Commemorative issue.[3]

The book Art & Soul features Smith's portraits of celebrities Anne Hathaway, Kerry Washington, Patricia Arquette, Adrien Brody, Alyssa Milano, Adrian Grenier, Taraji P. Henson, Tony Bennett, Kelsey Grammer, Paula Abdul, Tim Daly, Taye Diggs and Samuel L. Jackson accompanied by personal testimonials from each artist expressing their support for the importance of the arts in their lives.[4]

Smith is President of Editorial Photographers (EP),[5] a photography trade organization of magazine photographers and photojournalists from around the world. He has lectured at photography trade shows including PhotoPlus Expo, WPPI and Imaging USA[6][7][8] He has lectured students on the Business of Editorial Photography at Brooks Institute of Photography, Ohio University, Hallmark Institute[9] and the Atlanta and Fort Lauderdale Art Institutes.

His television appearances include guest appearances on The X Factor[10] and Fine Living Network[11]

Awards and honors[edit]

Smith was a member[citation needed] of The Orange County Register photography staff that won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography recognizing its coverage of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.[12] In 1988 he and Carol Guzy were finalists for their photographs of Haiti in turmoil, published by The Miami Herald.[12]

His photograph of Greg Louganis hitting his head on the diving board at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games won first prize in the Sports category of the 1988 World Press Photo[13] and was featured in Photo District News as a memorable sports photograph.[14]

Smith has been featured in the Photo District News Portraiture Issue, the Communication Arts Photography Annual, and Pop Photo. He has won awards from the Pictures of the Year competition multiple times.[citation needed]


He lives in Miami Beach, Florida, with his wife Fazia Ali, a fashion stylist. He is the son of Gerald W. Smith, author of the textbook Engineering Economy: Analysis of Capital Expenditures, Emeritus Professor at Iowa State University in Ames.


  • Art & Soul: Stars Unite to Celebrate and Support the Arts (New York: Filipacchi Pub, 2011), edited by Smith and Robin Bronk; ISBN 1936297469[15]
  • Secrets of Great Portrait Photography: Portraits of the Famous and Infamous (San Francisco: New Riders, 2013); ISBN 0321804147[16]


  1. ^ Schonauer, David, "Preview: Photographer Brian Smith's Portrait Secrets", Pro Photo Daily, October 5, 2012.
  2. ^ University of Missouri Journalism Alumni
  3. ^ Newsweek, April 11, 2005.
  4. ^ Art & Soul book launch.
  5. ^ Editorial Photographers.
  6. ^ PhotoPlus Expo. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
  7. ^ WPPI Archived November 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
  8. ^ Imaging USA. Retrieved 2013-02-22.
  9. ^ Brian Smith Speaks at Hallmark Institute of Photography Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine..
  10. ^ "One of Ten Voted Off", The X Factor, November 17, 2011.
  11. ^ "Me -vs- Me: Sports Photography", Fine Living Network, October 8, 2006.
  12. ^ a b "Spot News Photography". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  13. ^ World Press Photo 1988. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  14. ^ Photo District News 20th Anniversary Issue.
  15. ^ "Art & soul: stars unite to celebrate and advocate for the arts"[permanent dead link]. Library of Congress Catalog Record (LCC). Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  16. ^ "Secrets of great portrait photography : photographs of the famous and ..."[permanent dead link]. LCC record. Retrieved 2013-10-31.

External links[edit]