Photographer Chris Frazer Smith has released a new print portfolio featuring 15 full bleed images from personal and commercial projects shot over the past 12 months.
The newspaper-style portfolio includes no text or captions other than Smith’s name and contact details on the cover. The full-bleed spreads showcase an impressive range of shots and let the images speak for themselves.
“It’s driven by the simple love of print. Contacting art directors by email feels very clinical and it’s much nicer to have something land on your desk than pop up in your inbox. In the pre-email days, people sent postcards and posters and booklets, and I wanted to return to that. I like to avoid anything too gimmicky or complicated” he says.
Several of the images featured, including the centre spread (below) are from Smith’s work for Samsung’s ‘epic’ SmartTV campaign (you can read our blog post on the TV ads here).
Aside from a giant CG T Rex, the images used in Samsung’s ads are all original photography and were shot on a beach in New Zealand over eight days, explains Smith.
“I had to produce two master shots for the campaign and there was no digital trickery – we had to make sure the characters were shot in the right light,” he says. During downtime on set, Smith also shot a series of portraits of individual actors from the shoot, including a handful of gun-toting gangsters:
A SWOT team:
And some cowboys, all of which appear in his portfolio.
“There were nearly 300 actors at the shoot so I tried to do as much off set with them as I could. We set up a makeshift studio on the beach, in 90 degree heat, and it was a dream – I came back with much more than I thought. When you have that setting and that many characters, you have to get as much as you can out of it,” he says.
Also featured is Smith’s shot of diver Blake Aldridge (top), who appears to be leaping from the rocks of Cornwall’s Lizard peninsula and this of a climber (below). “I found a great location for the Aldridge image but unfortunately, it was too dangerous for him to dive, so I shot the landscape, shot Aldridge in the studio and placed him in the picture afterwards. It was a shame he couldn’t dive, but I don’t think it makes the image any less powerful,” he says.
The cover image for Smith’s portfolio (below) is taken from a personal series capturing industrial landscapes and scenes in China and Hong Kong, which you can see more of on his website.
“I’ve been shooting urban environments in the region for around three years – flyovers, driving ranges, whatever takes my eye. It’s a mixed up combination of traditional culture and modern wealth there and the light, particularly in Hong Kong, is fantastic. If I had the time, I would happily travel the world shooting urban settings,” he says.
In a career spanning more than 20 years, Smith has built up an impressive portfolio of portrait, landscape and still life work and is keen to avoid being pigeonholed. “I go through stages – sometimes, I’ll just want to travel around on my own capturing landscapes but mostly, I’m just looking for people, life and a good location, and I try to avoid retouching, filters or tricks wherever possible,” he says.
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The July issue of Creative Review is a type special, with features on the Hamilton Wood Type Museum, the new Whitney identity and the resurgence of type-only design. Plus the Logo Lounge Trend Report, how Ideas Foundation is encouraging diversity in advertising and more.