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Ming Smith on how her past informs her present

Ming Smith discusses her work and how her past informs her present

1. How does your work inform your style?

I love to shoot in comfortable and elegant clothing with high-quality fabric. I tend to be trendier, and I love the meeting point of classic and comfort.

2. What makes you feel most empowered?

When I'm creating and I'm really loving my creation, whether singularly or in a group setting.

3. You have photographed some of the great artists from Grace Jones to James Baldwin. Looking back on those moments, did you recognize these photographs would be so impactful?

No. I just wanted to visually capture how I felt about these artists. They were already impactful.

4. What was it like being at Studio 54 with Grace Jones?

It was joyful, loving, soulful, and powerful seeing how other people celebrated the spirit, and perseverance of Grace.

5. What's your favorite thing to do in your downtime right now?

Dancing and looking at classic films.

6. What have you been photographing during quarantine, if at all?

Street scenes and nature. Of course there are lots of pictures of masked people and families in the park and street, capturing how they're surviving the pandemic. I've also done some portraiture assignments for a few magazines.

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