Griff Smith has worked for Texas Highways magazine for more than 25 years and has been the photo editor since 2009. His work has sent him from Alpine to Zephyr covering a wide spectrum of subjects, from majestic landscapes to unique people who are the icons of Texas culture.
As a photojournalist, Griff’s work must be creative and compelling straight out of the camera. When I compose an image, I like to imagine that the viewer is looking right over my shoulder,” says Texas Highways Photography Editor Griff Smith. “The picture has to tell the story on its own merit, without a caption.”
"With the use of creative lighting and composition, I strive to make the obvious appear almost bigger than life," said Smith. "I want to get the viewer to feel like they could actually put their hand into the scene and touch whatever subject I am photographing."
From highly stylized portraits to more nuanced studies of landscapes, Griff’s photographs evoke empathy for the subject and create an emotional connection with the viewer. Whether it’s dramatic, cross-hatched shadows shading a seated Tigua woman, or the larger-than-life, comic-book-hero quality of a trick-roper in full action; the mysterious Monahans sand dunes at dusk or the clean graphic of a cowboy silhouetted against a giant neon Texas flag, Griff’s images reveal the state in its many incarnations and identities.
This year Griff is retiring from Texas Highways and plans to spend time traveling the state he so loves. But before he does that he’ll be helping launch his new book, On the Road with Texas Highways: A Tribute to True Texas.
The Dallas PPA is lucky enough to have Griff share this book and a retrospective of his entire career. Come join the fun when we Mess with Texas at our October meeting. Be prepared to be inspired by an incredibly creative photographer.