New Personal Project: The Ol’ Boys

The Ol’ Boys is an ongoing personal project I’ve begun about those surfers who get up for “the early”, day in and day out. A term used to describe a person who has been surfing a particular spot for a long time, The Ol’ Boys is not about people surfing, rather people who surf.

A project that I expect will go on for a long time, if not a lifetime, this collection of portraits looks to individually capture the faces of long time surfers and as a collection capture the essence of non-professional surfing.

I’ve had this project floating around in my head for years, and every time I went for a surf I’d look around and see these characters with weathered faces like timesheets telling of the years they’ve spent in the lineup. I had a particular lighting style in mind, specifically how I wanted their eyes to look. After experimenting we used a combination of natural and artificial light with reflectors to shape our subject’s faces, then recorded them on a 60 megapixel Phase One.

Big thanks to the over 30 surfers who have to date taken part, Camera Pro and L&P Photographics for the Phase One and support, the Gold Coast City Council for the permits and of course producer Kat Cooke, and assistants Josh Maguire and Orion Grey.

The first portraits from this project will be exhibited soon, watch this space.

KennySmith_Ol'' Boys


I’ve been carrying my Hasselblad around with me, hanging with friends or on commercial projects. I’ll bring it out if I have the time and shoot a couple frames. Man do I loooove square format, Ii just feels right, and I suspect the 45 million photos a day on Instagram agree. All these were shot on a 500c using Portra 160 or 400

Kenny Smith Film

Brisbane Bandits – Bigger & Badder

Worked with Art Directors Jim Strachan and Steve Schollum on a new campaign for the Brisbane Bandits baseball team.

Each year the Aussie players overseas come back over the break and a national competition is played in the capital cities over the summer.

Jim and Steve worked off the Bandit’s theme and came up with outlaw messages to tie back to the sport of baseball and we shot wanted poster-inspired mugshots of players.

Look out for these around the city this week

New Personal Work – Old Man MMA

A couple weeks ago I was able to complete a project that was in the pipeline for some time. I had this story in my head with 2 elderly guys set in the brutal sport of MMA or Mixed Martial Arts.

I was discussing it one evening with good friend and art director Mike Fritz and after about a year finally everything came together and we were able to shoot it.

I have to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who was involved, First of all to Mike my co-conspirator and art director, my team of Josh Maguire and his assistants, special effects makeup by Sharon Robbins from ARC, styling by Michelle Michaelson and of course the amazing cast of Hugh, Stewart, Daisy, Tom, and Liam. Last but not least to the amazing venue which is a working MMA gym Phoenix Elite MMA and Conditioning, thank you!

Without any more ado, here it is………Old Man MMA

APA Finalist Nod for Portrait of James Courtney

Happy to find that my portrait of James Courtney got the finalist nod in the 2011 Automotive Photography Awards. This is in addition to the finalist spot it got in the 2011 Brisbane Advertising & Design awards. It’s officially a multi acclaimed shot!

The judges comments are in the first few pages, while the shot itself is featured in the annual pages as well.



Universal Store – Back to the Street, Where I Began

Got to return to my roots, where my photography started, in my latest campaign for Universal Store. Waiting for light instead of lighting , selecting instead of retouching images. Shooting subjects instead of working with talent. Not styled, but style, not well lit but well visited. Swapped studio fees for plane tickets and fuel. Billboards are out now around town. Enjoy

New Work for Gold Coast City

Late 2011 I worked with Breanna Chalk and Jon Morris from Gold Coast City Corporate Communications to produce some images for the Gold Coast City Annual Report. As a long time resident I was honored to be involved in a project for a city that I love living in and calling home.

The City had put together a group people who had made a difference in the last year within our society, and we shot them with a modern clean style on white. Each person had made outstanding contributions in areas such as City Mayor, junior mayor, cultural ambassadors, disability and community activism, and volunteer services.

It was awesome shooting all of these great people and connecting with each one during the shoot. Below are some of may favs, plus a couple of tears from print.