Philip Smith

"Some people are bullfighters, some people are politicians. I’m a photographer."  Blow-Up (1966)

Some people call me Phil. Some people call me Philip. Some people call me Frenchy. Everybody calls me a photographer.

Celebrating the final rolling of Toomer's Oaks in Auburn, AL.

Celebrating the final rolling of Toomer's Oaks in Auburn, AL.

I was born in Washington, DC on September 30, 1987, but raised in Atlanta, GA. I enrolled at Auburn University in 2005 and graduated in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in French. Auburn, AL is home for now, but I'm thinking about returning to Atlanta.

I thought I wanted to become a French teacher, or an English teacher in France, but realized in my senior year that I hated school. I convinced myself that someone who hates school has no business teaching, so I dropped the French thing immediately after I graduated.

I hadn't always been interested in photography, but I always had a point and shoot on family trips or summer camp. I graduated to a DSLR when I bought a Nikon D50 kit in 2006. From then on, my camera went everywhere with me.

I became obsessed with urban decay, or as close to it as you can get in Eastern Alabama. I feel like I truly became a photographer in the abandoned houses, mills and churches in the towns near Auburn.

I marched with the Auburn University Marching band for 4 years, but decided to hang up the uniform and volunteer as a photographer for the AUMB in my 5th year of school.

My career took off immediately. I was published on the cover of Auburn Magazine, AU's alumni magazine, for work I did with the band. AU's yearbook, the Glomerata, published several of my photos in their 2009 volume.

After the 2009 football season, I got my first real photography job as an assistant photographer at The Auburn Plainsman, where I won "Photographer of the Year" for 2009-10.

Shooting in Chewacla State Park, Auburn, AL. Photo: Philip Darden

Shooting in Chewacla State Park, Auburn, AL. Photo: Philip Darden

In June 2010, I got a part-time gig shooting for FlipFlopFoto, a commercial photography studio in Opelika, AL. I assisted with weddings and shooting events around town The next year, I was promoted to a full-time position as a lead-photographer, event manager, and raphic designer.

In 2014 I accepted a position at The Mint Julep Boutique, an online woman's clothing store, based in Auburn, Alabama. For 3 years I served as their chief photographer, producing images for their website.

In 2017, I left the Mint to start up my own photography business, 1LPhoto. So far, I'm loving being my own boss and running a small business. Although I'm based in Alabama, I've worked in 6 states and love to travel! Use the contact tab to get in touch whenever you have photography needs!