4 Photography Mistakes And How To Avoid Them - Day 2

When I was first starting out in photography, I thought the more light I added to an image the better my image would become. I believed my pictures didn't look good because I just didn't have enough light to "fix" them .

4 Photography Mistakes And How To Avoid Them - Day 2


# 2: I Need More Light To Make Better Pictures

One of my biggest mistakes starting out in photography was buying more gear than I needed at the time. I remember thinking I needed at least three lights to make a decent picture but when I finally had three lights I still wasn't happy with my pictures. By having more lights I felt like a professional but my pictures didn't look any better. One day a mentor took me to the side and said, "Matthew before you buy any more lights learn to master using one light first!" I think that was the best advice I've ever received in my career. 

Photographic lighting is hard to see but by learning how to use one light first you begin seeing how light works. To avoid making the mistake I made, use one light in as many ways as possible. Think of the sun, which is one light source, but it gives us many different types of light. Use your one light in as many ways as possible and find out which way is your favorite. Once you find what you like, use it over and over until you master it.

To learn more about light and photography, join this week's webinar/master class which take place this Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. PST 

Master Class: How Photographic Lighting Can Increase Your Income In 90 Days

Time: 10:00 a.m. PST (California) / 1:00 p.m. EST (New York)


Always dream big,



4 Photography Lighting Mistakes And How To Avoid Them - Day 1

The other day I overheard two guys talking about photography in my favorite coffee shop.  One of the guys said to the other, "anyone can take a great picture on a cloudy day, it's easy!"  That statement is the inspiration for this series of blog posts.

4 Photography Mistakes And How To Avoid Them - Day 1


# 1: Anyone can take great pictures on a cloudy day: 

While it is true that the soft light on a cloudy day can make flattering pictures, the pictures are not flattering just because it's a cloudy day.  On overcast days the sun is diffused by the clouds but the sun is still giving light, it's just softened by the clouds. Think of a flashlight shining through a sheet of white paper. The paper breaks up the light from the flashlight  the same way the clouds break up the sunlight. Now here's the tricky part, on a cloudy day it is VERY HARD to see light unless you LEARN how to see light. 

Imagine today's a cloudy day and you want to take pictures at twelve noon of your friends or family. At noon on a bright sunny day, the light is not flattering because it's coming directly from above, On a cloudy day at noon, the sun is still in the same position except it have a thick layer of diffusion to soften the light, but the direction of the sun at this time of day is still not the most flattering and the eyes of your subject will be dark because the light is coming from above. 

To avoid this problem, take pictures when the direction of the sun is lower in the sky, like the first 2 to 3 hours or the last 2 to 3 hours, depending on where you are in the world and the time of year. During the winter months this time frame of good light is shorter then in the summer months. Use the Sun Seeker app to learn where the su is and use that information to your advantage. You'll discover how to see light the more you use the app and before you know it, you'll be able to see light on a cloudy day.

To learn more about light and photography, join this weeks webinar/master class which take place this Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. PST 

Master Class: How Photographic Lighting Can Increase Your Income In 90 Days

Time: 10:00 a.m. PST (California) / 1:00 p.m. EST (New York)


Always dream big,



Japanese Star Becky

I recently photographed one of the most famous people in Japan for a series of beauty images. Today, the images are all over Japanese TV, Instagram, Yahoo news, LINE news, and other media outlets. 

While most people outside of Japan may not know Becky, many have made comments on her remarkable beauty comparing her look to a young Isabella Rossellini.

All I know is that I enjoyed working with Becky and her sister and can't wait to do it again!


 Becky photographed by Matthew Jordan Smith

Becky photographed by Matthew Jordan Smith



Read this to take better pictures!

Wow! After such an amazing international response to last week's photography success webinar, we are doing it again.This time at start times for Asia and Europe.

3 Essential Skills Required To Become A Successful Photographer

REGISTRATION LINK: http://bit.ly/2cuKSJu

Tokyo: 10:00 a.m. (Tuesday, September 13th)
Los Angeles 6:00 p.m. PST (Monday, September 12th)
New York: 9:00 p.m. EST (Monday, September 12th)

REGISTRATION LINK: http://bit.ly/2cDAdJu

Tokyo: 17:00 (Tuesday, September 13th)
Paris: 10:00 a.m. (Tuesday, September 13th)
London: 9:00 a.m (Tuesday, September 13th)
South Africa: 10:00 a.m. (Tuesday, September 13th)
India: 1:30 p.m. (September 13th)

This saves me time

These days I can't seem to get away from the computer so anything that can help shortcut my  computer time is my friend. 

This weekend I shot about 1900 image and I would usually dread the process of retouching images but since I started using Perfectly Clear my time is cut down drastically. Today the software goes on sale so you can save money and time. A no-brainer in my opinion.

Training Part III (plus a bonus!)

I hope you all had a great weekend, and if you're in America, I hope you had a great Memorial Day holiday.

Last week, I released the first two parts of a free three-part photography training series and today I'm releasing the third video in the series. FREE TRAINING PART III

 I've received a lot of great comments via the video page, twitter, Instagram and even instant message and email. One photographer asked me a question about only using natural light. He only uses natural light and wanted to know why I list this as a rookie mistake. I think this question is important for many of us today so I made a short video to explain more.

Always dream big,


Training Part II

On Tuesday, we released the first FREE training video of a 3-part photography training series. At the time of this writing, almost 500 people have watched video # 1 and we hope the video reaches more as the week goes on.

Today, we are releasing training video # 2 and hope to help photographers by sharing some of the mistakes I made at the start of my career. To watch both training sessions you need to sign up for the series. AS soon as you sign up you get instant access to the series.


Always dream big,


FREE photography training today!

You've probably heard the phrase, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life," but today really could be a turning point in your photography.

Today is the first day of a FREE training series designed to help photographer learn more about different aspects of photography. The series consists of three training sessions that will be released over the next ten days.

To join the FREE TRAINING SERIES you must sign up by clicking HERE. Once you sign up you get INSTANT ACCESS to the first training session. There are three training sessions total with the other sessions being released between now and next Tuesday. 

I hope you like the training and if you do please spread the word.

Always dream big!

The 3 books every photographer must read

I'm just back from teaching at the  Mars School of Photography for a week and it was an awesome experience. I had amazing students and share the joy of photography through a course on portrait lighting. 

At the end of the class, I shared my top three must-read books that every photographer needs to read and this morning, I'm sharing them with you.

1. How To Win Friends And Influence People

2. Selling The Invisible

3. The Alchemist

I also shared a lot about personal projects and spoke about how I made my first and current books come to life. 

1st book: Sepia Dreams

Focus to the finish

It was an intense journey, but it's finally complete. I've been absent from the blog, podcast and other segments of my social presence for the last month in order to complete a big project. 

Working on any large personal or business project requires focus, and at times, you must devote all of your attention to a project in order to complete it. I'm happy to say my seven-month project is now complete and I'll be launching it publicly in the next week. We are still testing to make sure all the bugs are worked out and once the testing phase is done I'll share on all my social media channels. 

Thanks and always dream big!

This week in Vegas

What an insane week this has been. After speaking nine times in three days during the WPPI photo convention, I had to make time to do what I love best and take pictures. I used my Nikon 810 camera with a 35mm lens to create this shot early one morning, then went back to the convention and spoke on the Nikon stage, Profoto stage and for Perfectly Clear. It was great to be around so many photographers and this week's podcast shares why it's important to attend.

Link to podcast: Click here

Oh, by the way, Sunday is the last day to get the new photography lighting course at the pre-sale price. The pre-sale ends Sunday at midnight PST.

Link to pre-orders of Photography Lighting Course CLICK HERE.

It's finally finished!

I am so happy today! After four months of round-the-clock work filled with many 18+ hour days, we have finally completed the intensive photographic lighting course. This course is a MONSTER course and will teach you more than you could learn in four years of school majoring in photography. The goal of this digital course is simple: Teach everything I know about photographic lighting.

Now that the course is complete, we still have a  little bit of tweaking and prep work to do but the heavy lifting is done!! We hope to launch in the next seven days.

To celebrate, we are putting the course up for the pre-sale at the price $397.00, this price is $100 off the actual price of the course and will never be seen again once the course is live. This price will only be shared with my readers and podcast audience and again It will never be sold lower than the $497  again.

The lighting course is 6 modules long,  and each module has three incredible lessons. This baby is JAM-PACKED with everything you've ever wanted to know about photographic lighting, including how to work with light meters, power packs, light modifiers and much, much more. . To be the first to get your copy order today by going to the following lin: PREORDER