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- Chesterfield High School
- Bruce Smith Photographer
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Like many successful photographers, Bruce Smith achieved his first big break in fashion photography by setting up a test shoot with a model. Inspired by great photographers from the decades past, such as Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson, David Bailey, Barry Lategan, Horst P Horst, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, he borrowed some Fifties’ style gowns from a top fashion designer who sold her clothes through exclusive London stores. Such was the impact of these images on the designer, she commissioned Bruce and what started as a test, became a spread in one of the UKs leading fashion magazines, at the time ‘Avante Guard’.
This recognition of his talent set Bruce off on a journey that has so far, spanned over 30 years. Confident and adventurous, he developed his own style and built a reputation for creating stylish, ‘classic’ images in couture and bridal wear. The next big break followed soon after. Catherine Raynor, a leading UK bridal wear couture designer, who had previously worked with such iconic photographers as Norman Parkinson, Terrance Donavan and John Swanell, commissioned Bruce to shoot for her. Her status within the bridal wear industry, and the success of the images that he had produced for her, created a chain reaction which brought a queue of top bridal wear and couture designers to his studio door to shoot their collections.
By now, Bruce was becoming established as a leading fashion photographer. A commission from a leading UK bridal wear consumer magazine to shoot two editorial stories on location in Tobago led to many years of shooting high fashion for some of the top designers and manufacturers of couture and bridal wear, including Margaret Lee, Lyn Ashworth and Eleni Costi. Bruce’s classic fashion images inspired a long list of lingerie and hosiery and swimwear commissions from brands including, Charnos, Lapel, Silhouette and MissKini and Panache.
Shooting advertising campaigns, image brochures and catalogues, producing fashion shoots in some of the world most beautiful and exotic locations from Alaska to Kenya, Bruce had by now learned to arrange complete production for major fashion shoots. From the sourcing of the production teams, location managers, catering, location transport, even helicopters and arctic supply vessels, Bruce would control all of the necessary elements of high calibre fashion shoots. Shooting on location, with all of its challenges, taught Bruce to shoot fast with available light and utilse all of the skills necessary to create successful fashion stories .
With the advent of digital capture, Bruce recognized the need to be at the forefront of technological advances. Moving from Nikon F4’s to D series bodies, he has been a dedicated advocate of the Nikon system.
The latest significant direction in Bruce’s career came when one of his long-term clients suggested that he should consider sharing his knowledge with others. This suggestion prompted the launch of the Bruce Smith Fashion Master Classes that run over four and five days, in the studio and on location, from London to Paris, Milan to Miami and other locations around the globe. Bruce’s continued success in the digital era led to the completion of his comprehensive, practical guide to fashion photography which was published on both sides of the Atlantic. Pro Digital Fashion Photography.
These developments have given Bruce a truly world wide audience and an opportunity to educate and influence from a unique position of having enjoyed a genuinely successful career as a dedicated fashion photographer.