Aaron Smith | asmith photography | Los Angeles, CA Aaron Smith | asmith photography | Los Angeles, CA

News

Florsheim Shoes Fall 2017 Campaign

September 19th, 2017

Next one the list of my favorites shoots so far this year is our reoccurring client Florsheim Shoes. To be exact, we actually work with their umbrella company, Weyco, and photograph a few of their brands during a two week period. Anyways, Florsheim was my first big ad job in my career. 

Tangent - Once Laura, my rep, signed me, it took about a year to get things going. That’s a myth some people need to get straight, getting represented as a photographer doesn’t equal to jobs flowing in right away. It took us a literal year before things started working out. During that year, both Lwany and I worked our asses off creating new work and eating rice and beans to keep a roof over our head while we were barley doing any paid jobs. 

We first started working with them back in October, 2015. To be honest, it was very nerve racking for both Lwany, who styled to campaign, and myself. I think we both were faking our confidence and keeping our fingers crossed we knew what we were doing. Luckily, both the fine folks at Florsheim and their advertising agency Cramer Krasslet thought we did a great job so they’ve brought us back twice a year since our first shoot. We’re actually gearing up for another shoot in a few weeks. 

Shooting these campaigns have been so fun! Everyone from the agency, client, production and my whole team have been amazing to work with. It’s been such a blast to work with such supportive and creative people. I look forward to them every time. You can see some of the campaign on Florsheim’s website and you can see the rest of my favorites images on my site here

Below are some of my favorite images from our most recent campaign and some BTS photos. 


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Below are some tears from the campaign.

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BTS of one of my favorite photos featured above.

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Myself and my stunt double Grayson.

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Lwany sitting back while we shoot product shots.

Both Lwany and I are pretty short, especially in comparison to models. Lwany always needs an apple box around to style every part of the model. Here she is getting our model Collin ready for his “winter” shot. 

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Lungs full of dust!

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Switching between a Canon 1DX II and a Canon 5Dsr

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Lwany found the extra ventilation in my pants.

I met my tech, Daniel Kim, on our first campaign for Florsheim. He was sent over by Milk. Since that day, I’ve worked with him on every single job (besides the ones he wasn’t available for). We’ve become good friends and have traveled the world together. All thanks to Florsheim! 

Chance the Rapper cover shoot for Ebony Magazine

September 18th, 2017

Earlier this year I was approached my Ebony Magazine to shoot a couple covers for them. One of which was Chance the Rapper. Now, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t fully know who he was. So I did some research and fell in love with him as a person and his music. He’s approached his career totally different and has given back to his community so much. As the days neared to getting on a plane to Chicago my excitement grew and grew. I’ve met my share of celebrities being a photographer in Los Angeles, but I can honestly say Chance got me the most excited. 

The shoot days came and my assistant Siggy and I boarded a flight from warm LA to pretty cold and dreary Chicago. We shot at the Chicago Day Light Studio which had a great little studio and rad rooftop. Before Chance arrived, we went over his outfits with his stylist Whitney Middleton who was great to work with and had tons of great options. 

Chance arrived and everyone made their introductions. Shortly after we were all up on the roof in 30 degree weather doing our first shot. Chance was great to photograph. He wanted to be apart of the creative process which is always nice. He approved some ideas and nixed others which I think is smart for any public figure to do.  

The former Creative Director of Ebony, Pedro Vega Jr., was the one who hired me to photograph for Ebony. He’s a rad dude which tons of creativity and excitement. We both wanted this shoot to be a mix of urban rooftops and colorful studio shots. We shot the majority of it with film which was fun. It’s always nice getting away from the computer with everyone looking at each image that comes in. 

Seeing the cover for the first time in the wild was amazing. I think it’s the cover I’m the most proud of in my career. I got to photograph an artist I greatly admire in his home town (being from the midwest it was nice to be back in the area) and I got to collaborate with some truly amazing people.  

Below are are the layouts, some unretouched film shots that didn’t make the cut and some other BTS images and video. 

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Camera packing for the trip.

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Hello Chicago!

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Keeping it simple.

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Hurrying up and waiting.

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Me standing in.

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Action shot. I was freezing!

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Organization. TSA loved me. 

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A post shared by Pedro Vega Jr. (@pedrovegajr) on

A post shared by Pedro Vega Jr. (@pedrovegajr) on

Present Tense with Kaleb Ressler

September 15th, 2017

Next up is our shoot with Kaleb Ressler for The Fashionisto. This shoot again was spawned from my wife Lwany’s head. We photographed this back in March and during that time I think more than half of the country was still coming to terms with the Trump presidency. Lwany and I had an idea of tying the Safety Pin movement into a fashion editorial. You can read more about our idea here, you can see the editorial here and you can see the images on my site here.

I used about half digital and half film for this shoot. For digital, I used my Canon 1DX II with a 24-70 2.8 lens on mostly. For film, I used my Hasselblad 501c with a 80mm lens and Kodak Portra 400. For lighting all I used was a white bead board with some black duvetyne taped to the other side. 

For the location, we shot at the corner Sunset and Alvarado St. It was a spot I passed many times and I thought it would be perfect for this editorial. Only a week or two after we shot this, construction started on that corner and it’s totally different now. They got rid of all the rad textures and put in a boring white brick wall. Glad we got this when we did!

Below are some BTS photos and a few of my favorites from the shoot. 

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Lwany hard at work making Kaleb look rad.

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Styling and Grooming: Lwany

Assistant: David Paul


Below is how we select locations for each outfit. Yea, that’s me wearing the clothes. Much more uncomfortable than I thought it would be. I’ll stay behind the camera. 

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Where all the images lived for a short amount of time - via my instastory @asmithphotos

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Above is a screen shot of one of the scans at 100% during my retouching. I love seeing the detail when I zoom in that close. 

A post shared by @kaleb_ressler on

After we got done with the shoot, Kaleb, David and I hit up Garvanza Skatepark and skated until it got dark. Kaleb is not only a rad model but he rips on a board. Here’s a frontside flip over the rail he got that night. 

Angela Lindvall for The Laterals

September 14th, 2017

ianeOur third shoot this year was with the incredible Angela Lindvall for The Laterals. My wife and wardrobe stylist, Lwany, and I had been wanting to photograph her since we had a very short lived online magazine years ago. Lwany came up with the idea of photographing Angela in all ethical activewear since she’s an environmental activist. We pitched the idea to The Laterals and they signed on. 

I had never shot with a literal ‘super model’ before. Watching Angela in front of the camera was unlike any other model I’ve photograph. How she turned it on right when I started shooting is something I can’t explain. It was an absolute treat working with her!

Originally, I wanted to photograph this outside in a field using V flats as a backdrop. Somehow we managed to choose one of the few days out of the year that it decides to rain in LA. So I had to create what I wanted the images to look like outdoors instead in a studio.

I used a trick one of my assistants Siggy showed me on a previous shoot. I used a single Profoto head with the pyrex removed. I put the light up around 10 ft high at a 30 degree angle toward where we’re shooting with some cinefoil placed on the back of the head to push all the light forward. Having that cinefoil so close to the bare head, you’d hear the light slap it every time you took a photo. It’s a crazy sound but makes for a super hard light source. That’s how I made the light look like sunlight. I then used a roofed V flat to create some shadow on the background as well as some flags and meat cutters. This even tricked one of my old college professor’s, Forest McMullin, who thought I shot this outside. 

Below are some BTS shots, a few of my favorite photos and some GIFS we made. Check Angele’s interview on The Laterals here, read more about the project here, and see the full editorial on my site here.

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Me testing the light the night before.

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Being only 5′8″, I almost always have to stand on apple boxes to get to eye level. Shooting Angela with my Hasselblad 501c.

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Polaroids

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Never taking anything too seriously.

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Lwany and I reviewing. Love working with her!

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Styling: Lwany Smith

Make Up: Diane de Silva

Hair: Rachel Lee

Cinematographer: Matt Tompkins

Denim and Dogs

September 12th, 2017

Our second shoot in 2017 was a project my wife came up with which mixed fashion and pet adoption together. We teams up with Livefast Magazine and created our first Denim and Dogs editorial which was made to help get Bailey adopted. Sure enough, he found his forever home! He was the sweetest dog! You can see the editorial here, see more about the project here, and see it on my site here

Below are some BTS shots and a few of my favorite photos as well as the video I directed. 

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Stylist: Lwany Smith

Cinematographer: Matt Tompkins

Hair/Make Up: Samantha Fryling

ACHRO Fall 2017 Campaign

September 7th, 2017

We started off this year by shooting for one of our favorite brands, ACHRO. It’s a local LA brand that makes some amazing clothes. Both Lwany (my wife and stylist on most of my shoots) and I love working with them because they give us so much creative control. Here’s some of my favorite photos from the shoot as well as some BTS photos.

You can see more photos here - http://www.asmith.photography/achro-fall-2017

Our set

Action shot

I convinced some friends who were in the area to stop by and bring us donuts from Donut Friend. Below is my long time best friend from Kansas City, Ryan Lovell, sarcastically telling me how he would shoot it. This photo was taken from another friends Instastory.

A post shared by ACHRO | LA (@achro_official) on

Some BTS video.

At It Again

September 7th, 2017

Hello Everyone. I’m going to start this back up again. This will now be devoted to news of New Work and some BTS. Going to start this back up by posting some of my favorites from so far this year. 

December 10th, 2016

Saturday night in the back seat of a @lyft post

December 10th, 2016

Truck stop with @torianjohn and @aaronbernards

December 9th, 2016

Weekends with @jasminevilll and @yung_avocado 🍻