Spring has sprung – E17 Art Trail News…

At the start of every year I sit down and write myself an action plan, and every year without fail I write… ‘must engage in social media’! Erm… it’s now April already and I’m feeling pretty sad that I’ve not shared more to let you know that I’m alive and well and chipping away in my little corner of East London.

So, got some interesting things in the pipeline….

After a break in 2013, the E17 Art Trail is back! It’s moved forward this year to May/June and we’ve all really looking forward to an amazing event. The programme will be out early May.

I’m preparing to show for the first time some work from an ongoing personal project photographing Pennsylvania. I’ll post more with exhibition dates soon.

Heinz Factory Paula Smith Photography

I’ve also had word that a collaborative project I’ve been developing with a documentary film maker has been given the green light. Watch this space for more information soon!

And life as a freelance photographer continues to bring interesting assignments from corporate headshots to stock photographs of cityscapes and landscapes.

If you’ve stumbled across this blog and there is something you’d like to ask me or hear from me in particular, just get in touch!

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Christmas Greetings

Christmas Greetings from Paula Smith Photography

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Islington Christmas Art Market | Angel Christmas Fair

I’ll be exhibiting and selling open and limited edition photographic prints at this annual Christmas Fair in Islington, alongside Christmas gifts from over 50 other artists and designers selling original works. Well worth a visit!

Preview night: 6th December
5 – 9pm

7 – 8 December 2013
11am – 6pm

Behind Angel Tube Station www.candidarts.com 3-5 Torrens Street Angel, London EC1V 1NQ


Angel Christmas Fair

Hope to see you there!

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My photo selected for the RPS – Urban Photo Fest Competition Exhibition

Ah shucks…so I didn’t win a prize, but here is the photograph selected by the judges from hundreds of entries from around the world to take part in the Royal Photographic Society and Urban Photo Fest Competition Exhibition #RPSUPF. The show is on till the 30th October at The Greenwich Gallery, Linear House, Peyton Place, Greenwich, SE10 8RS.

Congratulations to the winners and again thanks to the judges for selecting my image to be a finalist and part of the exhibition.


Here’s the link to the exhibition catalogue. http://www.rps.org/resources/region_downloads/RPS_UPF_Catalogue.pdf

More information:

Urban Photo Fest and Royal Photographic Society London

The Greenwich Gallery – for opening times to the exhibition.

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Finalist in RPS – UPF Photography Competition

I got some good news the other day that one of my images has been selected as a finalist to the Royal Photographic Society Urban Photo Fest Photo competition. The theme this year is ‘Urban materiality’ – about the ‘stuff’ we find in urban spaces.

I’m not sure which image has been selected yet. (They are making us wait!) But the fact that one has been selected out of how ever many hundreds entered is a real honour. I’m really looking forward to hearing the news and seeing the exhibition down in Greenwich.

Here is what I entered… Which one would you pick?



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Gods Own Junkyard | A Neon pilgrimage

It’s the usual story… You take for granted that you happen to live next door to one of London’s most unusual and amazing sites. Yet it’s not till hearing it’s about to close its doors that you suddenly spring into action and think… Wow, I have to go inside and see it before it’s gone!!

What am I talking about? ‘God’s own junkyard’, a gallery of neon signs created and collected by neon artist Chris Bracey, who’s family business Electro Signs across the road has been creating signage for customers all over the world for decades.

The council have sold the land to property developers and they in turn plan to build about 6 million postage sized flats on this postage sized piece of land next to the railway. Fortunately, the business and gallery (hopefully) isn’t closing, it’s just going to have to relocated, and to where, it’s not yet known. I hope so much that it can stay in the E17/Wood Street area. It would be such a shame to lose such a unique, creative family run business.

So, here are a few photographs from my pilgrimage to the gallery on a cold and wet Friday afternoon.  If you haven’t been yet, DO SO! You only have this weekend and next to get down there.


Oh, and during my visit I learnt… Neon is officially (IMHO) the best thing since sliced bread. And the smell is like sweet sweet perfume! Walking though those doors I might well have just died and gone to heaven!

More info:



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The Odd Fellows Temple

Odd Fellows Temple by Paula Smith

It’s been a really busy few months. I’ve been over in the US building on my personal photographic project to capture Pennsylvania. So many images to go through! Here’s a shot that makes me smile. I wonder what the criteria is to become an ‘odd fellow’.  This photograph was taken in Watkins Glen, a small town in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.

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Shooting into the sun | London’s Tate Modern and Millennium Bridge

Tate Modern London Backlit Silhouette Photo

It’s always an exciting day when a roll of e6 film comes back from the developers. Last month I’d gone walkabouts with the Leica 35mm film camera loaded with Fujifilm Velvia 50. It was a bright winters day and being on the northside of the River Thames I decided to shoot towards the sun creating a moody silhouette of Tate Modern and Millennium Bridge with just a hint of shimmer from the river.  What I love about using Velvia 50 film is the certainty of getting nice rich satuated colour. This is a straight forward scan – no ’photoshopping’ as that was already done when I made the picture!

This image is definitely going forward to my ‘fine art photos’ to print folder.  It will look amazing as a large format acrylic print, or even printed onto aluminium. If you are interested in this photograph for your home, office or elsewhere drop me a line.

A WORD OF WARNING – If you are thinking of taking photographs into the sun, watch out for your eyes & digital camera sensors! Especially if you are in a country that actually has sun!

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What’s in the bag

My Camera Bag

I’m a firm believer in “it’s not what you’ve got; its how you use it!” Nevertheless, I know some people are interested in what gear I use so I’m happy to share.

My workhorses are Canon 5d’s. I love the full frame and relatively compact feel for a pro-spec SLR. Lenses of choice are: 24-105L, 70-200L, and the 50mm 1.4f prime which is an amazing lens for the price. I’ve got a couple of Canon flash guns and a sturdy tripod.

I also use a Leica MP with 35mm & 90mm lenses. Much of my travel and street photography is shot with this and my film of choice is Kodak’s TriX & Tmax for black and white and Fuji Velvia for colour.

Occasionally, I’ll dig out my Bronica SQAI, which is a 6×6 medium format camera. It’s a brick to carry around and it slows the shooting down somewhat so I don’t get to use it as much as I would like.

I’ve got various accessories – reflectors, filters, light stands etc. etc. and my Christmas list is always as long as your arm for stuff I’d love to have! I can’t understand why no-one has bought me a Hasselblad yet. Truth be told I like to keep things simple, using natural light where possible and not getting too caught up in the latest fangled gadgets.

Oh other things in the bag…business cards, iphone, note book, Oyster Card and painkillers for when I’ve walked my feet off!

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Top 5 Photographers New Year Resolutions

Happy New Year! Like everyone else, I’ve been reflecting on 2012 and looking forward to the year ahead.

Champagne along the River Thames

Here are my top resolutions for 2013:

1.  Stay inspired

It’s easy to get caught up with the everyday routine of life.  Sometimes staying inspired takes a bit of effort so I’m planning to:

Aarhus Sunset

2.  Learn something new

In a similar vein it’s just as important to keep learning and stay up-to-date as technology and products constantly change. I’ll be investing in training, taking some time out to learn new post production techniques, experimenting with different lighting set ups and trying to push myself to keep evolving my photography!  One of my favourite online learning sites is creativelive.com.  Brilliant, check it out!

London 2012 Ambassadors eating ice cream

3.  Develop Personal Projects

Over the years I’ve had a number of personal projects.  Some have been short and sweet (like Woolworths) others are still ongoing (Pennsylvania) and just as soon as I can get back out there it will continue.

My aim this year is to work up something new, shoot something different, something that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Not sure what it will be yet! That’s the next thing on the to-do list…

Bodybuilding Gym

4.  Take more photographs!

A funny resolution to have for a photographer! But honestly, running a photography business at times can feel anything but photography what with all the office work! This year I’m aiming to shoot a greater variety of photographs for myself every day, even if it’s with the crappy camera on my phone.

I want to strive to continually improve as a photographer and this will only happen by practicing the art.

No Ball Games

5.  Shoot like its film (even if it’s not)!

So the prospect of shooting more fills my hard drive with dread! That’s why I’m also going to remind myself to slow down and shoot like I’m using film! When I do I’m more disciplined about the settings I select, the composition of the shot and the exact timing I press the shutter.  I want to capture the perfect moment, in camera with one click.

City abstract reflection

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