A Book 30 Years in the Making

For the past six months I’ve been hard at work on my second book ‘Secrets of Great Portrait Photography: Photographs of the Famous and Infamous‘ Coming this fall from Peachpit Publishing’s New Riders, the book that’s actually 30+ years in the making. Drawing upon the best lessons I’ve learned over the last three decades photographing portraits of the rich and famous, this book blends lavish celebrity portraits of a coffee table book with technical how-to insights with a side dish of behind-the-scenes celebrity stories.

My wonderful…and patient…editor Nikki McDonald has been after me to write this book since attending my talk on the subject at PhotoPlus Expo 2010. My thanks to Nikki for having the patience to wait a year until Art & Soul was finished. The extra year gave me time to deliver a much better book.

I enjoy teach and speaking about photography and Secrets of Great Portrait Photography is the favorite of talk that I do because it goes through the entire process of a portrait shoot, but it’s a challenge to get all the information into a two hour talk. Packed thick with 264 pages loaded with details about my last three decades of portrait photography, this book finally gives me the space to share all the details.

The cover features a portrait from one of my favorite portrait assignments ever – a portrait shoot of Richard Branson on Necker Island in the Caribbean for a Time Magazine story on Virgin Galactic space flights. Secrets of Great Portrait Photography, the book tells the story behind how the shoot came together from planning to production to post.

Secrets of Great Portrait Photography is available for discounted pre-order on Amazon. We’re hoping for a big launch, so please tell your friends and pre-order your copy today! http://amzn.to/greatportraits

Here are the sexy details from my publisher:

Title:Secrets of Great Portrait Photography: Photographs of the Famous and Infamous

Author: Brian Smith
Slated Release Date: 9/28/12
Publisher: New Riders, an imprint of Peachpit

In this sexy, bold, beautiful book, photographer Brian Smith tells the stories behind the photos and lessons learned in 30 years of photographing celebrities and people in all walks of life. A Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Smith is the luckiest guy on the planet. He’s told Bill Gates exactly what to do for an entire hour, had an exhibit at the Library of Congress, dined with the President and 3,000 of his closest friends, had cupcakes with Anne Hathaway, and gotten drunk with George Clooney . . . all in the service of getting the perfect portrait.

In this juicy guide to shooting professional portraits, Smith shares his insider tips on connecting with people, finding the perfect location, telling a great story through portraiture, getting just the right pose, capturing emotion and gestures, arranging unique group shots, and getting just the right light. Throughout, you’ll stay inspired by the breathtaking images included of the famous and infamous: Venus and Serena Williams, Gene Hackman, Cindy Crawford, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, The Bee Gees, Antonio Banderas, Shaquille O’Neal, John Turturro, Anne Hathaway, Ben Stiller, Sylvester Stallone, and others.

You might not be shooting the rich and famous yourself, but after reading Smith’s tell-all guide, you’ll know how to make every person who makes their way in front of your camera look and feel like a celebrity.


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15 thoughts on “A Book 30 Years in the Making”

  1. Congratulations, Brian! From first hand experience I can only say that you are the best portrait photographer in the business. I’m looking forward to purchasing this book and have you sign it.
    Roll on.

  2. Congrats Brian looking forward to it! I do have to disagree with how many years in the making, I’d say your eyes and the way “you” look at things and people has been a work in progress since birth!

  3. Mark Thackeray

    Brian – this looks like a must read for sure. Congrats on all the hard work that went into this monumental task!

  4. Pingback: PhotoShelter Showcases ‘Secrets of Great Portrait Photography’ | PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FAMOUS AND INFAMOUS

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