Hometown: Newark, DE
Web site: http://www.newarkartsalliance.org
View World Music Days Events for this Artist
Jeff Smith, a graduate of Christiana High School and the University of Delaware, became seriously involved with photography thirty some years ago, when he received a 35 mm SLR as a Christmas gift. He soon learned that the cheapest way to use it constantly was with self-processed monochrome film, and still uses black-and-white more often than not. He purchased a complete darkroom from an 85-year-old former photojournalist in 1972, and is still using a lot of equipment made before he was born. He is primarily self-taught in photography.
Aside from freelance photography and writing, which he has done part-time for eons, he has pursued and been pursued by many careers. His first was as a State of Delaware Probation and Parole Officer with a caseload in the City of Wilmington.
After seven years, he joined the U.S. Peace Corps, and went to the Philippines as an agricultural advisor. Here he first acted as an agricultural extension agent to a group of remote villages, then became involved with a province-wide USAID project introducing new permanent crops. The project and his Peace Corps service ended at about the same time, and he remained in the Philippines to help create a private corporation from the former project. After nine years, he returned to the U.S. to get his children in better schools, care for his mother, and provide for the common expense.
The move was ultimately precipitated by a typhoon that flattened, but did not destroy, his business, and seriously damaged all of his possessions, including 17 years worth of negatives. He is currently working to recover some of these images with the help of digital imaging, which he otherwise generally avoids.
He has also been employed variously as an advertising photographer and copywriter, a newspaper special sections editor, a longshoreman, babysitter, bookstore clerk, census enumerator, singer-songwriter, produce salesman, photography instructor and as a replacement for a broken switch. In 2005, he served as a Crisis Corps Volunteer in Louisiana, following Hurricane Katrina.
He has served twice as president of the Delaware Photographic Society, and has been a board member for over a decade. He has served as chairman of the Wilmington International Exhibition of Photography four times. His service has been recognized with the designation of Associate Member of the Delaware Photographic Society, and he has earned the distinction of Associate of the Wilmington International Exhibition of Photography. He is also president & chairman of the board of directors of the Newark (Del.) Arts Alliance.
Music, Video, Image and Lyric Samples: