The Rapidian

Rob Smith, local and international fashion photographer, shares his story and the Flash Mob Foto Shoot

Rob Smith, a Michigan native, shares his journey to success while detailing the experiences and inspirations that have been apart of his development.
Rob Smith

Rob Smith /Smith Photography

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Flash Mob Foto Shoot July 14th

 

"Join at Division/Crescent (just east of intersection) for a fun-filled photo shoot and networking event. Come rocking your Lamb's Wool (any way you like it), bring your resumes and business cards to pass. You never know who will be there." -Rob Smith

"Lamb’s Wool Clothier was birthed by the creative minds of Garrett Fox and Rob Smith as an answer to Christian fashion, which is often churchy, but unable to reach the masses. Lamb’s Wool Clothier aspires to design eye-catching slogan-wear that is scripture based as well as inspirational that allows the customer to ‘WEAR what they BELIEVE in‘ —all while remaining fly and fashionable!" 

 

The Flash Mob Foto Shoot will take place on July 14th at Division and Crescent (just east of the intersection)

The Flash Mob Foto Shoot will take place on July 14th at Division and Crescent (just east of the intersection) /Smith Photography

The Christ Couture Collection of Lamb's Wool Clothier

The Christ Couture Collection of Lamb's Wool Clothier /Smith Photography

“I’ve always been one who’s seen life in pictures,” says Grand Rapidian Rob "Sky Limit" Smith.

A Michigan native, Smith is the creative visionary and founder of Smith Worldwide and is also an internationally renowned photographer, master fashion stylist and co-founder of Lamb’s Wool Clothier.

Smith, who personally styles most of his own shoots, has never had formal photography training. Admittedly self-taught, his natural knack for visualization is an uncanny artistic ability that allows him to capture the essence of any moment, an undeniable talent and gift.

In an impromptu moment, Smith demonstrated this ability as he impulsively enacted the design and positioning of a photo shoot with the salt and pepper shakers on the table during our interview.

Asked of his initial emergence into photography, Smith recalls a hair show by Jerry White where he, accompanied by a small digital camera, photographed Johannah Jelks and others backstage for what he called his “first event shoot.”

"This is how it started; I picked up a camera and I found the rest of me,” says Smith.

Despite the undoubted picturesque quality of Smith’s extensive body of work he humbly continues to consummate his calling.

“I am continuously honing my craft,” he says. Smith's strength comes from this adamant dedication to his passion. He has self-studied fashion design and trends for years, continues to do research and study fashion shoots to polish his skill.

His life journey is an inspirational one. Smith is a journalist who possesses a degree in communications, emerged from an environment prone to undertaking and hindering dreams. Having been in the foster care system, raised in a crack house, and at one point homeless, he never allowed the impoverished surroundings of his upbringing to stifle his becoming. He is far beyond what is statistically regarded as a product of one’s environment. Still, he does not fail to credit those of less favorable outcomes, who have despite such had a measure of impact on his success. As he recounts his journey, he notes those as, “constant people in my life that have given me leverage.”

"[My] faith in god has given me courage... my preparation has opened the doors of favor for me," says Smith.

Today, Smith is the founder and owner of Smith Worldwide, the professional link for his ubiquitous business endeavors and personal passions: freelance photography, fashion styling, personal shopping, personal concierge service and a linguistic department that encompasses copy editing and ghost writing. His company has also evolved to incorporate campaigns and branding. This body of interrelated pursuits classifies Smith Worldwide as a brand and lifestyle.

As Smith’s campaigns have expanded in cohesion with his branding, he was afforded the position of Branding Manager for an up and coming artist out of Chicago. He has been delegated the responsibility of styling, photographing and marketing the artist exclusively. These objectives are well within his creative grasp.

“I add some dare to him without robbing him of who he really is,” explains Smith.

Prior to campaigning for artists, Smith created the appropriately entitled, Crashing the African Myth campaign, developed as a vacation in South Africa a year ago. The descriptive title doubles as the actual cause behind his excursion.

“I went to crash the African myth…we think of Africa and think it's about dirt roads and poor people,” says Smith. The campaign was a collective story created to crash these stereotypical beliefs. He assembled his journey into YouTube episodes, the first of which is entitled "The Mandela Tales," named after a visit to see Nelson Mandela.

Though the campaign developed as a vacation, the trip expanded into an unintended yet motivational quest. While there, Smith was enabled to not only do two photo shoots with a native designer, but to also preach as the feature of a youth revival and give inspirational testimonies at two schools.

"I am always on assignment when I hit foreign soil,” says Smith. An avid traveler, Smith took a trip to Hong Kong in 2005 and recently Dubois and Bangkok for what he deemed the Smith World Tour.

Smith’s photography experience is as impressive as it is extensive. He’s worked with celebrity native Chico Debarge and R&B artist Jon B. He was also a photographer on the set of soul singer Dwele’s music video "Flower Girl," which he also had a cameo appearance in. As an adjunct photographer for Jones Magazine, a lifestyle magazine for women of color, Smith shot photography at a Carson Soft Sheen event in Chicago hosted by Niecy Nash, Amerie and Johnny Wright, hairstylist to Michelle Obama. The Merge Summit, a conference held in Los Angeles which merged celebrities and ministry, is also among his photography experience. Locally, he has photographed artists Mr. Famous and Bunny Debarge, several local up and coming models, and more.

Highly anticipated is the Flash Mob Foto Shoot on July 14 (Division E and Crescent NE) for his Christianity-inspired clothing line Lamb’s Wool Clothier, which he co-founded with business partner and long time friend Garret Fox. Smith’s intent is to restore fashion to Christian clothing by infusing European fashion and “true fashion inspiration” to the line. He calls customers of Lamb’s Wool Clothier citizens of Lambsville, USA, an association people enjoy being apart of. The idea for the Flash Mob Foto shoot emerged of questioning his self, “how can we get all these people together in one place?” While laying in bed, he had an epiphany to, as he put it, “gather a bunch random people together at a random place for a specific thing, the only ticket is you gotta wear some Lamb’s Wool.” Intended to benefit the community as well, this event is more than a photo shoot. It is a networking event and attendees are encouraged to bring business cards and resumes. Performers and potential employers are also anticipated to be present.

Rob Sky Limit Smith is an individual making ground-breaking strides in fashion, branding and photography. His awe-inspiring journey makes him a stellar role model for all those who strive to achieve greatness in spite of contradicting situations. With hopes of assembling a youth symposium and an instructional photography class that will teach not only the mechanics of photography but the entrepreneurial aspect of the business, Smith is a native Michigan should be proud of.

“Because I’m passionate about my passions I have to let my passions exist wherever I go,” says Smith.

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