Born in N.J., now based in Washington, D.C., Vincent Lee Smith is working on several self-assigned photography projects:


AFRICAN WOMEN IN AMERICA | 24 Images in gallery | Latest Entry: 10- 06- 2017

*People in the United States still have a 'Tarzan' movie view of Africa. That's because in the movies all you see are jungles and animals . . . We [too] watch television and listen to the radio and go to dances and fall in love.* - Miriam Makeba

The relatively recent immigration of hundreds of thousands of Africans since the late 80s, has influenced every area they have congregated, mostly in urban centers. Often it is a much quieter influence than the incredible influx of Latinos - mainly because the Africans do not have the sheer numbers. Unfortunately, despite the increasing number of Africans in America, the news coverage of Africa is still - *if it bleeds it leads* - tragic, corrupt, violent, famine related stories dominate. Even here in America, Africans still seem to melt into the pot and out of sight - until they display their colors. The wonderful fabric and textures of their traditional and cultural clothes.

The African Women in America project showcases the women in their African clothes and juxtaposes them with the urban environment most of them traverse each day. It is the aim of the project to tell the women's stories (in words and photos) and the dichotomy of their relationship between their country of origin and country of choice.

The intention of project is for the photos to be published in book form and to hopefully collaborate with a non-profit - like CARE - on a travelling art gallery exhibition.

African women, of any age, who would like to join the project and tell their stories through pictures and words, please email me: .

All photos Copyrighted by Vincent Lee Smith 2008. All rights reserved.

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STREET/URBAN | 26 Images in gallery | Latest Entry: 02- 24- 2018

My first love was available light jazz photography, which quckly turned to street photography after seeing Gordon Parks' work. Then one Christmas I found a Minolta X-9 under the tree, then another Dec. 25th I unwrapped a Helen Levitt book under the Christmas tree for me (thanks Bro), and shortly thereafter my Dad bought a copy of Roy DeCarava's *Retrospective* and that sealed the deal: I was in love.

This is the project that while being closest to my heart, I have little premeditated goals for: other than documenting, collecting, and cherishing the people, places and things I see around me everyday in my travels.

For more about what inspires me, go to my blog

All photos Copyrighted by Vincent Lee Smith 2008. All rights reserved.

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PERFECT: URBAN NUDES | 34 Images in gallery | Latest Entry: 10- 12- 2017

Perfect: the Urban Nudes project was officially born after witnessing two photography books: "Beautiful: Nudes" by Marc Baptiste and "Nudes" by Rankin. Both photographers were working with a wider range of women. However, I still felt there were many women missing or under represented by both books, so I set about this project with an aim to fill those gaps.

Gaps that regular media refuses to fill. Everywhere I look, I see the same female form on the cover of magazines and in ads: bony, pale, 19yr old, surgically altered, air brushed, Photoshopped celebrities, singers, actors, models or other seemingly rich people. Whose idea of the ideal woman is this?

I see beautiful women all around me - of all ages, shapes and shades of color. They have freckles, wrinkles and A cups; six packs, big butts, and dark skin. Women with legs for days, bucket seat hips, full lips and Bollywood hair; a nose Maria Callas would envy, a Condi Rice gap, and eyes like Joyce Carol Oates; redheads, brunettes, albinos; afros and bald heads; short women, big women, disabled women and natural women: not caring to wax and shave themselves into oblivion. Women with dangerous curves and beautiful minds.

Haven't you grown weary of seeing the same size 2 model depicted - tossing her hair, parting her lips just so, and staring blankly while in some exotic locale? Me? I've never been to any of those idyllic places - I'm a city boy - and can't readily identify with that fantasy. But I have ridden in an elevator, walked through an alleyway, gone up a stairwell, sat in a car, shopped in a mall, worked in a cubical and ridden the subway. So I figured more people could connect with images that showed intelligent extraordinary women amidst the ordinary settings of everyday urban life.

It is the object of the project for these photos to be published in book form and to be seen in galleries both here and abroad.

This project was completed June 2013.

All photos Copyrighted by Vincent Lee Smith 2013. All rights reserved.

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THE P PROJECT | 22 Images in gallery | Latest Entry: 10- 24- 2017

The P Project started, like most, from a simple question: could actual porn images be turned into art? Could I consciously use my photographic tools and my creativity to produce something "recognizable to the soul"? Other photographers have tackled the same question. Whether I have succeeded or failed is up to you, but I have, for sure, created something that - in the words of one my co-workers - "looks weird". Maybe in the age of disposable everything that is challenge enough.

All the black and white photos were done on film (mostly Kodak b&w C-41 and TriX), while the color photos were done digitally. None have been altered except for minor cropping and a bit of color correction to a couple to darken the tones. Otherwise what you see is what was there from conception.

This photography project was completed 12-31-2010

All photos Copyrighted by Vincent Lee Smith 2008. All rights reserved.

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