Nikon Ambassador Matthew Jordan Smith Celebrates 37 Years in Photography with a Free Online Tribute Webinar to Gordon Parks and Aretha Franklin | PHOTOs

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Matthew Jordan Smith (Photo Credit: Cameron Peagler)
Matthew Jordan Smith (Photo Credit: Cameron Peagler)

*World-renowned photographer Matthew Jordan Smith is celebrating 37 years of an illustrious photography career with a special online webinar dedicated to the legacy of the incomparable Gordon Parks and Aretha Franklin.

Matthew Jordan Smith with Gordon Parks. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Jordan Smith Photography)
Matthew Jordan Smith with Gordon Parks. (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Jordan Smith Photography)

The international, free online tribute is scheduled on Wednesday, April 17, at 10:00 a.m. ET will also give insights into the shoots that defined Smith’s role as a photographer of celebrities, fashion, and beauty. Reserve your spot for this once-in-a-lifetime webinar, click here.

Since his breakout assignment in 1992 with lawyer and educator Anita Hill for Essence magazine, Smith has risen to fame capturing the intimate nuances of stars like Oprah Winfrey, Zendaya, Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, George Lucas, Angelina Jolie, and of course, The Queen of Soul. His ability to distill the aura of such icons into a single frame has garnered him international praise and solidified his place as a stellar figure in portrait photography.

Smith’s extensive career also includes key roles in shaping pop culture through television shows such as America’s Next Top Model, where he was a guest judge and featured photographer, he helped to define the show’s visual narrative. His exceptional work at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games further highlighted his unique perspective by capturing the spirit of life within the Olympic Village.

During the webinar, participants will journey through the pivotal moments that cemented Smith’s status as a photographic luminary.

Matthew Jordan Smith with Aretha Franklin (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Jordan Smith Photography)
Matthew Jordan Smith with Aretha Franklin (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Jordan Smith Photography)

Attendees will gain unprecedented access to the stories behind his iconic images, and his experience working with Aretha Franklin, framed by the inspirational influence of the iconic Gordon Parks.

As we celebrate this anniversary, we also celebrate the path Smith has blazed—from film to digital, from Essence to America’s Next Top Model, and beyond. Join us for an event that promises to be as enlightening as it is inspirational.

Matthew Jordan Smith was raised in New York City, and Columbia, South Carolina. He works regularly in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo, Japan. He is the author of Sepia Dreams: A Celebration of Black Achievement Through Words and Images (St. Martin’s Publishing Group), Lost and Found (Filipacchi Publishing), and Future American President: 50 States, 100 Families, Infinite Dreams (Goff Books). He has photographed some of the world’s most famous people, from icons such as Oprah Winfrey to Zendaya, Quincy Jones to George Lucas, Angelina Jolie to Angela Bassett, Sofia Vergara to Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah to Courtney B. Vance, Tyra Banks to Britney Spears, and even Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and many others.

His latest book, Aretha Cool: The Intimate Portraits (ISBN – 979-8-218-27863-2) is available on Amazon. For international (English) purchases and inquiries, please visit

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