Imagine being pulled over by a cop who is about to give you a ticket but then he spies your photo equipment in the back of your car so he rips up that ticket as long as you teach him how to be a photographer. Sound like a movie? Well most of photographer Sebastian Smith’s life seems as if it has jumped straight off the Hollywood storyboards.
Born in Mississippi, Smith left and traveled the world with his family until he was 13. His father’s job took them all over the place and they were in some amazing countries and met great people, but, as Sebastian tells us, “it has left me totally nomadic as an adult!”
Fast forward to when Smith was a police officer and the story above unfolded on a highway in middle America. Sure enough the gentleman who Smith pulled over began teaching him everything he needed to know about photography and they still speak on the phone up to this day.
With his knowledge of the lens firmly in place, Sebastian moved to New York City with $28 in his pocket and couch surfed until he got on his feet. One of his first jobs was shooting the Vera Wang look book. How did that come about? He met the Art Director in a bar and she was looking for a photographer. See, just like in the movies!
From there the jobs started coming in and at his three year mark he picked up and headed to Paris. It was supposed to be a quick vacation but when he realized his passport had never been stamped he ended up staying for two years. There he shot all around Europe working in Lisbon at their fashion week and signing with an agent in Italy to get work in Milan. When he finally did make it back Stateside he found an agent there as well as a sponsorship by Sony, and started landing big clients such as Victoria’s Secret, Saks, Gilt Group and Barneys. Are any directors reading this?
Today Sebastian can still be found bouncing around the globe with his amusing wife and their little boy. He will be in Charleston in March as a judge at their fashion week and he will be lecturing at The Powder Group teaching photo techniques to makeup artists.
Below Sebastian tells us more about his personal style.
My overall style is a cross between a biker and a rocker. I can’t just put something on and let it be, I have to add my own personality to every outfit.
Pants: My favorite pants are my Rag & Bone tuxedo pants. If I could I would live in them every day! As far as jeans gom I’m a big fan of Diesel. But I do like All Saints, Naked and Famous and John Varvatos too.
Shirts: One of my favorites is one from Conference of Birds. They make incredible clothes. I also like V::Room, they make awesome Henley’s.
Shoes: I love my All Saints boots. They really fit well. I like Golden Goose and I love these scuffed up low tops from Golden Goose. They almost look like old Converse.
Suits: I dont think there is anything more amazing than a Valentino suit. Prada too. They do it right. Obviously Calvin Klein does it well. His Bowery tuxedo fits me well. I Have a Jack Spade blazer and velvet one from Banana Republic that I wear a lot.
Outerwear: I have a wool peacoat I bought at a second hand store in New York and a Conference of Birds trench. I love old beat up biker jackets from Goodwill and Tim Hamilton had a jacket that I coveted.
Accessories: I have a couple of Eugenia Kim hats. It doesn’t get more stylish than that. I don’t really wear watches. I keep accessories down to a minimum. My son’s name is Kingsley so I wear a necklace with a crown on it that someone gave me at the Marc Jacobs show. I love it!
Your favorite piece of technology? I don’t really covet technology but my camera is great. Although I still wish we were shooting in film and using polaroids! I have a little Sony NEX camera that I love. It’s a grab and go. It is always in the glovebox or in my satchel. It is an incredible camera in a tiny package.
Next big tech purchase? I need a desktop Mac with a massive screen. That or a film scanner since I really do miss working in film!
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