FOCUS ON PHOTOGRAPHY - PETER SMITH

Peter started his career in the late 1970’s after training at Canterbury and Folkestone Art Colleges. He worked straightaway with advertising agencies in London. Then, there was a huge demand for graphic and photographic skills. Life in London was exciting and glamorous, especially for a very shy young man, having barely left Kent.


Looking back, Peter is aware he was going through unique and exciting times, living in London through the 1980’s, working alongside other fresh-faced creative people. The work was demanding and Peter worked long hours often through the night. He was passionate about his work and wanted to get things “just right". His love for photography still continues today.


He worked on a variety of projects travelling abroad and also with TV celebrities such as food writer and presenter Mary Berry, celebrity chef John Tovey, and also on the set of Quatermass, where he was able to try out all aspects of photography.


He later became involved in industrial photography, a challenging switch from what he was used to, so he felt it a great honour to be awarded National Industrial Photographer of the year in 1983. There have been other awards throughout the years, including the USA Clio Awards for advertising photography that had an incredible 14,000 entries.


Peter says: “How times have changed! The whole industry is so different now, as is the technology, which has improved the scope of work. "However, also gone is the regular interaction with designers and art directors. You are very much on your own and need to have graphic, video and still photography skills in order to make a name in the commercial world of photography.”


However, Peter feels lucky that the “jobs” still keep coming in. He regularly undertakes photo shoots in various locations from the Tate in London to New College in Oxford.


He also enjoys working with local craftspeople and building his own personal portfolio of work, taking portraits of local people. With his portraits he hopes to visualise the inner person.

website: http://www.petersmith.co.uk/

Ernie was a Rolls Royce engineer, now working locally on marine engines. He used to mend the engine on my boat.

John is a shipwright. He keeps wooden sailing vessels in good condition, mainly rebuilding old Thames barges.

The famous portrait of the Afghan girl on a cover of National Geographic inspired me for that picture. Ryan is a fisherman.


Dancing at the Faversham Hop Festival.

Spider is a sailor, and a carpet layer. He is a very social man and was often seen around the Anchor. He now lives in Cornwall.


Paul Lester sailed his yacht twice around the world and many more times around the Anchor. In the old days, he was an art director in an advertising agency.


Mike was a tax inspector. He came down from Croydon and liked it so much, he never left. He lived in a caravan at Oare Creek.


Bob was a production director on childrens' programmes including Teletubbies and Rosie and Jim.


Lena was a lady with so much energy. She was involved in the Kent Sailing Association barge racing and started the Faversham Nautical Festival. She was Swedish. She taught French. She was a very sweet lady.


Vic spent a lot of years at sea. She signed as a deckhand on on one of Crescent Shipping's coasters (out of Rochester) and spent two years sailing with them, what was called ‘home trade’. The Sex Discrimination Act had recently been passed allowing women to sail on commercial freighters on deck. She is now a therapeutic counsellor. I have known Vic for a long time. When I photographed her she looked like a 1930's film star.

Caroline Thomas was the Home Bursar at New College in Oxford. I was working for the college, taking portraits. It is one of the oldest colleges in Oxford, with so much tradition, and very calm. Harry Potter was filmed there.

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