Raul Smith is a 27-year-old self-taught photographer from Venezuela. He started as a party photographer, but after a few years he made the switch to fashion and editorial photography. He spends his time drinking and shooting pretty girls. This is Raul’s second story for herbeautymag, check the first one here.
How did the idea for the series come about?
I’m trying to build a more relaxed, impromptu kind of style, and I really dig that ‘sunday morning’ kinda vibe, so that’s what I aimed to do with this and most of my recents shoots.
How do you approach these intimate shoots?
I’m a very chilled person, I don’t usually care or worry about anything, so I think that my way of being somehow transfers to the models at the shoots as my sessions always go the same; we end up just chatting and frolicking around, not realising that we’re doing photos or any kind of work. Just let it flow and things will come naturally.
Did you shoot this series on a film or digital camera, and why?
I shot it as a combination of both, as you may know, digital is sometimes the best option if you have limited time, and I always do, so for me digital gives a more relaxed, ‘trial and error’, and experimental way of shooting. But film was my first love so I can’t do a shoot without having a film camera on me, so I always do some kinda b-roll type of thing with polaroids and instax.
What is it like to be a photographer in Venezuela, can one easily make a living out of it or is it a constant struggle?
Well my friend, nobody can make a living out here or at least not a good one. Doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, professor, lawyer or a photographer, everything down here is a struggle, nothing comes easy. But the bright side is, as we’ve known from history, that at the worst times there’s always a group of people that want make things better and feed from that hustle, creatively speaking of course, so in that way one can get some kind of recognition on some levels, because the political and economical panorama is getting worse and worse and there’s no hope in the future either.
What’s next for you?
As the majority of the young generation in Venezuela (we’re are in the middle of the biggest exodus of the young population in the history of the country), I’m almost all set to leave the country for a better life and more opportunities. We’ve to work around or bypass a bunch of the state’s regulations that are insane and deep down they want to lock us all here. But I feel great about what’s next for me, I’ll keep on shooting and doing my thing here or wherever I go.