Image by Alex Moffat
My name is Lynn Smith. I hold two Masters degrees: Master of Documentary Photography (by coursework) and Master of Fine Arts (by research). My preoccupation over the past two decades has been making images on the streets of big cities. I do some day shooting but have to say I prefer night photography, partly because of the moody situations you can stumble upon. And also because the shopkeepers/restaurant managers/office security personnel who sometimes insist on knowing why you’re photographing their premises (unless it is a government building I don’t have to give reasons as I’m in a public place) have mostly finished work and gone home for the day.
I shoot in Sydney and Melbourne mainly. But also in the Illawarra and Newcastle regions of NSW. I travel overseas when I can: have made images in London, Paris, Berlin, and Jakarta.
For me the city is an infinite source of joy. I don’t go out with an agenda thinking I’ll shoot this subject or that. I just wander the streets and laneways aimlessly… allowing the paradoxes which abound to seduce me.
If the look of an object (or group of objects) moves me I don’t try and figure out what it/they mean. It is enough just to be alive with a camera in my hands.
The city’s objects are used by all of us and they’re designed, paid for, built, modified, damaged, destroyed and rebuilt by people. They’re mirrors which reflect who we are. As members of society. Not directly like a conventional mirror does, but indirectly: as if refracted through a prism.
Postgrad degrees from the University of Sydney’s arts faculty, Sydney College of the Arts (SCA)
2009 Master of Documentary Photography (MDP) by coursework.
2012 Master of Fine Arts (MFA) by research. Title of my research paper- “Longing and the City: the Emergence of Street Noir”. Supervisors Stephen Lojewski and Merilyn Fairskye.
2008-2010 Sydney Community College
- Street photography: day.
2011-2017 University of Sydney’s Centre for Continuing Education (CCE)
- Street photography: day
- Street photography: night
- Developing a Style
- Weekend photography adventures including the ghost town of Joadja and the historic villages of Hill End and Sofala.
2014- 2017 Australian National University’s CCE, Canberra.
- Street photography: day
- Street Noir night photography
2016 PhotoAccess, Canberra. Street Noir
2018- 2020 The Australian Centre for Photography (ACP), Sydney.
- Street Noir.
- 1-on-1 private tuition.
2021 - Sydney Community College.
- Street Noir.
- Introduction to Film Photography
I also run private weekend courses. Examples:
- street photography (day & night) in Melbourne and Newcastle.
- a ghost town adventure in NSW's Southern Highlands
- Country Noir: old gold towns in Central West NSW including a night shoot in a truck and bus graveyard
1981-85 Singapore Vocational & Industrial Training Board (VITB). Advertising Practice.
1990 -92 Young & Rubicam, New York. Designed and facilitated seminars on advertising creativity involving agency staff in the USA and Venezuela. Plus marketing executives at Pepsico and Colgate Palmolive. Title: “What’s the big idea?”
1994-98 Billy Blue School of Advertising & Design, North Sydney. Advertising tutor: creative concepts, campaign development, new product development, self-promotion.
1998 Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS), Sydney. Tutor: Writing for Short Films.
For 25 years I worked as a copywriter and creative director in advertising, mostly with multinational advertising agencies. These included MojoMDA (Melbourne, Sydney and Singapore), Dentsu (Jakarta), Young & Rubicam (Sydney, Auckland, and New York) and J Walter Thomson (Melbourne). Was fortunate to win many national and a number of major international awards.
"Blues for the Eyes”, b&w solo show, Bondi Pavilion. Self curated. ‘06
SCA postgrad show, ‘09.
"Out of the Darkness”, the former Meyer Gallery, Darlinghurst. Curated by Mary
Meyer and Bob Kersey, ‘09
"Nexus”, former Global Gallery, Paddington: group show of urban photographers.
Curated by Sandy Edwards. ’10.
SCA Postgrad show, ‘11
“Kitsch & Cliché”, group show, in the former NG Gallery, Chippendale. Curated by Sandy Edwards, ‘11
“Longing and the City”, solo show, in the former Arthere gallery, Redfern. Curated by Sandy Edwards. ‘12
“Lost in Place,” group show in the former Damien Minton Gallery, Redfern. Curated by Sandy Edwards. ‘13
“Black Eye Summer Show”, group exhibition in the former Black Eye Gallery, Darlinghurst. Curated by Sandy Edwards. ‘14
“Night runner”, solo show, the former 10X8 gallery, Chippendale. Curated by Sandy Edwards. ‘14
“UNSEEN” group show of new work. 10x8 gallery, Chippendale. Co-curator with Sandy Edwards. ‘14
“Compendium 4” exhibition and launch of a book on Australian fine art photography which included many others. At Spot 81 Gallery, Chippendale. Curated by Mary Meyer & Bob Kersey. ‘14.
“Decisive Moment” group show at Contact Sheet gallery, St. Leonards. Curated by Sandy Edwards and Paul McDonald. ‘15.
“Coterie” group show at the former Danks Street gallery, Waterloo. Curated by Sandy Edwards. ‘16
“A Beautiful Anxiety” solo show at PhotoAccess in Canberra. Self curated. ‘16.
“Aftertaste” group show along with four other street photographers at the Nth. Syd. Council’s InTransit artspace. Curator/participant. ‘17
Participated in Photostart 2018 and 2020 shows of student & tutor work, Australian Centre for Photography gallery, Darlinghurst. Curator: Dr. Allison Holland.
NOZTALGIA a group show at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney. Six artists including me. Curated by me. Feb 2020.
GROUNDED an exhibition by nine documentary photographers from around Australia including me. Curated by me. Gaffa Gallery, Sydney. Feb 2021.
ABANDON a hard cover, A3 size coffee table book that was part of the major work for my MDP degree. 2009.
Street Photography with Lynn Smith: annual books of the best student work from my classes in Sydney and Canberra. I was the editor. 2009- 2016
11 Top Street Photographers, a global collaboration with 10 other photographers from every region in the world. Available via Amazon. Artists were sourced via the Creative Street Photography group on flickr. Lynn founded this group in 2008 and remains its principal curator. The group now has over 900 members.
NOZTALGIA, a 60-page book printed by Momento Pro (Sydney) and launched in conjunction with an exhibition of images by five Sydney artists (including moi) at Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, Feb-March 2020.
GROUNDED 68-page book printed by Momento Pro and launched in conjunction with an exhibition of images by nine artists from around Australia (including me). Gaffa Gallery, Sydney, Feb-March 2021
My images are held by private collectors in Auckland, Brisbane, London, Melbourne & Sydney.
Finalist, Sony World Photography Awards (university division), Cannes, France 2009.
Finalist, Sydney Life (now known as Australian Life) 2010.
“Noir Streets”, 7 minute video of my night images. Go to YouTube. Enter film and animation. Enter Noir Streets.
“A Beautiful Anxiety”: in which I am interviewed at various locations in Melbourne about my style. YouTube.
Sandy Barnard, One of Australia’s premier analogue printers. 0408 280 609
Huon Lui, manager Gaffa Gallery, Sydney (currently under renovation). 0478 535 868