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Jacob Smith

Originally from Georgia, Jacob moved to Tennessee in 2005. His background with photography started in a dual point North Georgia College and State University 1999-2001 studio art with black and white film photography. In 2000 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves as a 25V Combat Documentation and Production Specialist - also known as Combat Photographer. 


He graduated from the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, MD with certifications in still photography studying 35mm film photography and video production. Over the course of the next 10 years, he was deployed all over the middle east as a combat photographer for the 982nd Combat Camera Company (Airborne). He spent 36 months covering the entirety of the Iraq War from 2003-2009 and several months in Egypt documenting a training mission. In 2004 he went back to Defense Information School and reclassified his occupational specialty to that of a Graphic Artist 25M.

“Upon getting out of the military in 2010, I took a couple of years of downtime away from photography just to focus on re-centering my head and restructuring how I wanted and what I wanted to do with photography.  After that very short hiatus, I came back first with shooting photo-journalistic styled street work as I did as a combat photographer. That went on for a year and then I focused on doing artsy-fartsy macro flower work for a while. That was fun but I was still finding myself and what fully defined me.” 

Interested in working with models for a while but nothing outside of a few random grip positions in Atlanta prior to moving to Tennessee; He started working with models in January 2014. That fall he got the opportunity to work with the music venue “The International” as part of their photographer pool. For the next 3 years, he covered various music events ranging from Marilyn Manson to David Allen Coe.

“Concert photography has become a passion since then. I find that my background with the more extreme side of photojournalism has given me a unique and very definitive style towards live music work. To capture the attitude of the music, the musician, and the entire moment so that the viewer can feel like they were there is something amazing and beautiful.  Combine that with the fashion work that I now do and it has allowed me the freedom to escape the paradigms of modern fashion and that of the Photoshop shooter. Most of society has turned into a copy/paste mentality and it has come through in every aspect of culture including photography. To find something truly unique and not generically disposable is a wonderful thing. I have found if you focus on others' work it turns from inspiration to mimicry and your individual thoughts and endeavors will be found lacking at some point. So I have opted to focus inward. 


The main points of focus and inspiration for my work come from being raised in the 80’s/90’s. A lot of my style has come from the lifestyle and editorial shooting that was produced during that period from Calvin Klein to the random street fashion work in the ’80s.  

Capturing what people have referred to as edgy or emotive. I find that the style I have developed for my work captures the past 18 years of struggle, pain, anguish, and love both with the 35mm film and with digital. I am always focusing and refocusing myself towards bigger and better goals.”

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