52 Project – Week 8 – @Matthew_JordanS (Matthew Jordan Smith)

Background: This year, I’ve decided to do a 52 project (one photo a week), and my “theme” is that I’m going to do a self-portrait each week, where I try to mimic the Twitter picture/avatar of someone that I follow, figuring I’d be able to learn a new technique/look each week that I can apply to future projects.

Matthew Jordan Smith is a very talented portrait photographer who has shot celebrities such as Halle Berry, Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan and Tyra Banks for both advertising and their personal use, and has worked for a number of big commercial clients including Pantene, Revlon, and HBO.  Some of his work was recently highlighted as his portraits of Whitney Houston were part of the coverage of her death.  He’s also appeared on America’s Next Top Model and a number of other TV shows.  Matthew is a Sony shooter, and it was in this sense that I first became aware of him.  My first DSLR kit was Sony gear, and I was looking for a pro photographer who also shot with Sony to see what sort of lenses he used and how he worked with studio lighting, since it seemed that almost everything was geared towards Canon and Nikon.  At one point I sent him a tweet, which to my surprise he answered! It was actually that short exchange that helped me realize one of the big powers of Twitter – the ability for people to connect in a way that might not otherwise be possible. In everything I’ve read about and from him, he’s been very gracious in sharing information and knowledge, something I admire when I see top photographers do it.  More recently, I saw MJS talk at the PDN Photo Expo in NYC, at the Sony booth, where he walked people through his thinking during a photo shoot, sharing equipment choices and model direction.  Again, he was very patient, gracious, and helpful! You can find more information and view his beautiful portfolio on his website here.

For this portrait, I used my newly-acquired beauty dish, with a 20 degree grid attached so there wouldn’t be too much spill over onto the background. I just got this modifier, and I already love it – I can see why it’s so popular! I’ve used it right away in two shoots where I was doing headshots – you really can’t go wrong with it!  Fortunately, I have a couch and wall in my basement that were very close to what was in Matthew’s avatar portrait, so all I needed was my black mock turtleneck and I was all set.

Matthew Jordan Smith's Twitter avatar

Me as Matthew Jordan Smith

Shot of my setup

One Response to “52 Project – Week 8 – @Matthew_JordanS (Matthew Jordan Smith)”
  1. Barbara Dillon says:

    Great shot of you:)

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