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Meet Photographer Kyle Everett Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyle Everett Smith.

Kyle Everett, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in Leucadia, California. Although it’s a small beach town. I was never really drawn to the ocean or surfing, instead, I gravitated towards skateboarding. Growing up looking through skateboarding magazines I was fascinated not only with the trick but the composition and style of the photos. By the time I was in highschool my attraction to photography grew. I took every photo class available at my school. By my senior year, I was working exclusively in film, using the darkroom we had on campus every chance I could.

After I graduated, my father bought me a Nikon Fm10. That camera never left my side. It became an extension of my being. I decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue an education in footwear design. It didn’t take long to realize it was a direction I wasn’t genuinely interested in. After meeting and developing a relationship with the Department Chair for Photography at my community college I realized photography was my true obsession. I have lived in the Frogtown neighborhood of Los Angeles for six years now and have purchased many more cameras. I shoot with film cameras because all of my influences did and still do the same. This process has taught me patience and has made me appreciate all of my successful shots that much more.

I am continuing my studies at school, and am pursuing any photographic opportunity I can get my hands on. Working to support myself outside of the arts does at times make shooting film tricky with costs, the countless time spent waiting, and limitations to shooting a set amount of frames per roll, but it is all of these things that also make me love it that much more. In a world of instant photography, every good shot I produce was that much harder to earn, that much more significant. Film photography has made me the photographer I am today.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Practicing in film can be very unforgiving. There are so many variables that you can’t just look at on an LCD screen after every photograph. When working on my series, “The Town of My Father” I would wake up every Friday morning and drive nearly two hours up to Crestline, a town 20 minutes outside of Lake Arrowhead, just so I
could be there to capture images at sunrise. It was quite an ordeal.

Of the five months I spent working on this project, I made some pretty terrible mistakes. I forgot to pull out the darkslide (a metal slide that protects the light from leaking on to the film plane when not using the camera) which in return gave me a whole roll of blacked out images. That was a whole week wasted. It’s mistakes like that, that allow you to learn. Photography is always a learning process. I definitely make sure that I remove that darkslide first thing whenever I am out shooting photographs. I’ve even considered getting a darkslide tattoo.

As far as living in Los Angeles, that can be a struggle too. Working to support yourself and your passions is taxing. I work, skateboard, have a loving girlfriend, practice photography, and go to school all on my own time and wallet. It’s a maddening affair, but somehow it keeps me sane. Without practicing my art I would probably have lost my mind by now.

This new series that I’ve been shooting is very specific and that can be difficult with a full schedule. I go out every weekend at sunrise throughout the Los Angeles County to take photos. There is only a small window of a couple hours -at most- that have all of the variables lined up for this project. The lighting, the selected days, and absence of people on the street. At times it feels a little neurotic, but I hope it will be worth it when the project is completed.

Kyle Everett Smith – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a free-lance photographer. I am doing this for myself and the love of the art. I want more than anything to share this with others. The community of photography grows every day. It is hard to pinpoint what exactly differentiates yourself from others. What I think makes me different from others is my practice.

I’m out shooting at hours when most are sleeping or just waking up. I’m trying to show emotion through the interpretation of mundane landscape. Emphasizing colors and composition. I shoot with a snapshot aesthetic in mind and I try to pay homage to my heroes in the photography world while still establishing my own style.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Any occasion to share my art with others makes me proud. My proudest moment, though, was surprising my father with the printed book of my series, “The Town of My Father”. I had five months to complete the project and I finished it in time to present it to him for his birthday.

He had no idea that I was working up in Crestline, I had kept it a complete secret. I tried to really get to know the town that shaped my father into the man that he is in my time in Crestline, and I know that was clear from my photos. Making my father feel appreciated was my ultimate goal.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 2851 Partridge Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90039
  • Website:
  • Phone: (760)707-9583
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @instatrife

Image Credit:
Bleu Avina

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