PDN Photo of the Day

Fashionably Intellectual

While working on a Ph.D in neuro-imaging, Daniel Thomas Smith switched gears and decided to pursue photography. Trading in the lab for a photo studio, he assisted advertising and fashion photographers before breaking out on his own. His approach is both scientific and clinical, drawing inspiration from many places.

“It may be seeing a new piece of lighting equipment that gives a certain shape or mood, it could be random Tumblr images or a certain garment from a runway show,” Smith tells PDN via email. “I guess it’s all about having your eyes open, and when you encounter that which will causes a spark, it’ll light the flame of a new idea.” Smith’s work varies from simple, clean black-and-white studio portraits [slides 7 and 8] to more complex layered images [slides 2 and 4]. The collage images included in this gallery were shot for Dossier. “Collage is a fun way of adding complexity and visual stimulation, a new a hyper reality. You can react off the clothes, exaggerating, enhancing and pushing to places conventional image making couldn’t go.”

Smith’s creative process begins after the magazine presents him with a theme for the featured clothing. “Then they ask me how would I like to show these clothes, create an environment, a world for them to exist.” Take the L’Officiel Paris [slide 5] image, for example. Because of floral pattern on the coat, Smith explored Japanese gardens, abstract and pastel set designs. He says the process is “multi-dimensional” and everyone brings their own skill sets to the process. Check out more of Smith’s work on his website or via Quadriga.

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