Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Paul Smith, I’m a photographer based in Auckland New Zealand.
My love of photography began at an early age, I found much enjoyment in the viewing of family photographs, my parents wedding album, family gatherings viewing old photos and slideshows, cine8 evenings were highlights for me.
I have been involved in photography and videography for the past 25 years.
How did your love of photography and film come about?
I had an uncle who was a photographer, and it seemed to give him a kind of magical quality, I will always remember his photos of our family; they made an impact. I grew up in the era of slide nights, and cine 8 movies, it was a special time and film always possessed a certain type of magic for me.
What are some of your favourite shooting techniques and processes you have experimented with?
I don’t really do techniques, just try and keep it simple, don’t complicate it.
How do you find motivation to continue to go out and pursue your creative endeavours?
I believe creativity is something that can’t be pushed or rushed, it should flow, otherwise your work will probably suffer the consequences. Trying to pursue creativity through motivation isn’t really a good mix. Looking for or trying to find creative motivation is really pointless, art is at its best when it finds us not when we try to find it. I try and take a camera everywhere I go, I never know when I’m going to start “SEEING”.
Having said that I do believe the need to push yourself outside the limits of your comfort, live on the edge a bit, dive in and get wet!
What is your current camera setup and favourite film?
I don’t really have a current setup as such, I really just grab the camera that sings out to me the loudest for how I feel at the time. But usually my Leica M6 is the noisiest and most vocal. I have a real soft spot for my Olympus OM2n and Pen EE also, so it’s usually one of those 3.
Are there artists you look up to or admire?
There are lots, and there are so many great photographers and not just recognised ones. I get a lot of inspiration from uncovering someone I haven’t previously seen or heard of. But if I had to choose one that would be Ralph Gibson, seeing his work and hearing his wisdom has had a huge effect on me.
How has YouTube changed your relationship with your photographic practice? Are there things that having a YouTube channel has influenced or changed about the work you do?
Having a Youtube channel has been a great experience for me, I think we are so lucky today to have all this stuff at our disposal. Modern day photography is very exciting , I have heard so much negativity about the plight of photography and how hard it is to make a living in the modern day with the demise of print media, but I disagree. It’s really wonderful to live in an age where you can actually have your own channel for free, a platform to showcase your work to the world, amazing! Do whatever you want!
What advice would you give to your younger self given your experience in life so far?
Don’t wait just do it.
Be proud of who you are and what you do. Embrace where you live and your own environment.
Where do you see yourself in 5 – 10 years time with your photography and video work?
I really am not worried, I think it’s important to enjoy the place I’m in right here and now. I am so happy and fortunate to have a camera that takes me places that I would never have gone otherwise. My camera is doing the driving I’ll just hang on for the ride and get off when the bus stops.
Where can we view more and keep up to date with your photography?
Well a good place to start is my YouTube channel, and obviously all the usual stuff my website and Instagram etc. I have also just put out a small book called “Stolen Moments” that showcase my style and black and white film work.
You can buy the book here….
Links to my other media….