Virginia Smith attended the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen Colorado and learned the basics of photography from Ernst Haas and Jay Maisel who ignited a love for seeing life in a whole new way. She came home to Los Angeles eager to pursue her newfound love of the craft. She was refunded money to her next workshop at a camera store and told to go home, pick fruit and have babies. The 70's was a difficult time for a Mexican/Indigenous woman to have a career in photography so she made do photographing friends, family, anyone who she could put in front of her camera. A period of homelessness in 1995 destroyed all her negatives and images then her camera was stolen. Years later when her daughter decided to become a photographer she asked her mother to join her. Her long repressed joy for the craft was renewed and Virginia has been busy ever since, photographing anyone or anything she can put in front of her camera as well as personal projects born of the need to tell stories, share emotions and express creative ideas.
Her daughter has moved on to her own career as an elopement photographer with her videographer husband (www.thearroyos.co) but Virginia has continued to educate herself in improving her skills attending a Film Is Not Dead workshop with Jonathan Canlas to refresh her skills with film photography as well as working with a Mentor - Don Giannatti of Lighting Essentials in the art of lighting and commercial work. She has volunteered for many years at the Palm Springs Photography Festival and has takes workshops each year as well as participates in portfolio reviews. Virginia's work has been featured in international publications and media as well as recognition in competitions.
Her styling work for other photographers has also been featured in wedding/shelter blogs and magazines as well as her images. She now teaches styling for photography using her extensive collection of vintage and custom fashion, antiques and a fully stocked food photography studio.
She shoots daily, always has a project or two in the works and uses this website to share the bits and pieces of her work, ideas and inspirations in photographs.
The ongoing themes of overcoming obstacles and seeing beauty in the difficulties of life will always exist in my work. I observe and notice the pain and suffering of others, I can listen, interpret and tell their stories in images reflecting back to my subjects the issues they face as well as the hope and beauty that exists in their lives. I understand it because I have lived it. This is the work I will do as long as I can hold a camera. I look forward to meeting and photographing the many humans I meet in an interesting life of endless curiosity wherever I go. That same curiosity along with a love for design and color is expressed in my still life photography and personal work.