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The Photographic Genius of Brian Bowen Smith

The man behind the camera who has an eye and mind unlike any other. If you haven’t yet heard of Brian Bowen Smith, you’ve undoubtedly come across some of his iconic photographs. The world renowned photographer and artists’ career evolved as organically as his photographic style. Bowen Smith developed and mastered the art of capturing both the physical and energetic levels of his subjects by way of his camera. His legendary career has evolved through many diverse styles and subjects, but the everlasting element of his incredible work is his eye for the essence.

Brian Bowen Smith transforms his humble yet extraordinary ideas and dreams into timeless pieces of art that only a mind like his could manifest. A constant quest for creation, expression, and exploration is a testament to the infinite possibilities of Bowen Smith’s innovative art.

His career began by less than classical means, as do the careers of the most eminent artists. Born and raised in New York, Bowen Smith was on a strong track towards becoming a professional athlete and actor. By divine crossing of paths, Herb Ritts became his mentor, teacher, and guide through the world of photography. After working as an assistant to the legendary Herb Ritts for four years, Bowen Smith learned the in’s and out’s of Ritts’ artistic process. Through time and trial, Bowen Smith crafted his unique style of capturing a moment in its entirety. Bowen Smith explains that “[his] certain style [is always] chang[ing]. If you look at [his] personal work and gallery work compared to [his] [celebrity] work, [he] was pushing [his] limits. [He] tries to go out of the box and into something [he has] never done before.

Brian Bowen Smith’s portfolio includes the most recognizable names in Hollywood. His list of iconic photoshoots is the most extensive in his field, covering nearly every major celebrity imaginable. Each new project presents an opportunity for connection and creation.

The opportunity to shoot with Bowen Smith is sought after with high esteem, mainly attributed to his organic and lively style of shooting. Generally, the concept takes on a life of its own. With a vision and an outlet, the chemistry between him and his focus begins to evolve and shift, like an improvisational dance. Everyone on set is contributing to the collective energy in oneway or another. Through natural chemistry and unpredictability, a truly one-of-a-kind masterpiece is created.

“I don’t try to hold back things that come out of nowhere; sometimes out of sheer terror of being photographed, these people will do something weird, like they’re trying to do something else but it’s not really working, and then all of a sudden something happens. It clicks. And the great thing about photography is that you only need 1/25th of a second for that to happen, and for it to be amazing.”

In truth, Bowen Smith is much more than a photographer. What he creates explores a deeper level. He is a conduit between the energetic phenomenon of connection and its physical counterparts. What he captures immortalizes the overlap of both parts. He is a storyteller, and his photographs are his tales.

Brian Bowen Smith’s constant quest for innovative creation led him toward his beautiful and successful career in Fine Art. The creative drive is fueled by an innate curiosity for the light, the aura, and the essence of his subject. BowenSmith’s art seamlessly blends together the invisible yet powerful elements of human individuality with a tangible attraction to the human form. In turn, his photos viscerally capture both the soul of his subject and the story of their interaction.

His imagery serves as a portal into the essence of his subject. This essence is the key element of his work and how he creates a story with his art. Most of his subjects are scouted based off of an inclination towards their aura and have never been models by profession. Particularly explored through his personal works, Bowen Smith accentuates the beauty of details, fostering diversitility and “god-given features” as a guide for his vision. By doing so, Bowen says, “the canvas is already half painted before you even begin painting.”

Some people radiate an attractive quality, be it energetic or physical, that catches the his ingenious creative eye. The mystique of what is within is a driving force. BowenSmith explores new ideas and subject, he says that, “a lot of times [he’ll] see someone in a bar or some girl working at a coffee shop, and just [think] ‘Wow. [They’re] so perfect or unique, or maybe not even perfect or unique but weird in a perfect and unique way.’”

The creative and intuitive eye of the photographic genius continues to bring forward something from deep within his work, revealing the layers of both himself, his subject, and his craft with every photo.


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