From Bay Street to Union Station, from sunrise to sunset, Toronto-based Photographer Christ Smart is always on the go. Through Smart’s lens, we’ve seen many Torontonians braving through the snowstorm with their own styles. Because of Smart’s unique eyes photographing Toronto’s urban streets, our city continues to surprise us with stylish ‘fashionistas’ and ‘fashionistos’.
Novella: How did you get into photography? Was there an instant moment for you to realize this is something you love or it was a passion developed gradually?
CS: My love for photography started about 15 years ago when I was given a simple 2mp Sony Cybershot camera. 2mp was huge back then. I started off shooting abandoned houses and old barns and eventually vacant industrial sites.
Novella: You also work as a game developer. How do you balance these two different jobs?
CS: I’ve been working in Video Games as an artist for over a decade now and the camera has always been a valuable tool in what I do at work. Everything from reference gathering of a certain subject or taking a photo of a texture and using it in game. I have my camera with me wherever I go. The balance of what I shoot and when I shoot depends on how busy I am at work but I try to shoot Street Style in the morning before work, at lunch and sometimes after work…so basically as much I can.
Novella: When did you start taking street style photos outside different fashion weeks and why did you decide to do so?
CS: I know exactly when I started shooting Street Style. It was May 2013. It all started with one particular photo that sparked everything for me. I had been shooting street photography and architecture when I moved back to Toronto from the US. Before that I was primarily shooting abandoned locations and Urban Decay. This one particular street style photo that I took sparked a chain of events and it was only then I learned about The Satorialist and Adam Katz Sinding. I had heard about Bill Cunningham but I never really looked into his story. So it all began for me in May 2013.
Novella: What’s the most enjoyable and miserable part of being a street Photographer?
CS: Most enjoyable would have to be the chase In catching a good shot, followed closely by the positive reaction from the people I photograph when they get tagged and see it on Instagram. The most miserable would have to be when its snowing and cold, or it’s a Monday. No one is in a positive mood on a Monday and I want my subjects to be happy and full of confidence.
Novella: What’s your favourite time of the year to shoot?
CS: Definitely Summer. Spring is also great because everyone smiles a little bit more because winter is over.
Novella: What would you say your signature style is?
CS: Someone once said my style can be described as Utilitarian, Classic, Casual. You can always catch me with a button up in the summer with the sleeves rolled up.
Novella: What would trigger your decision to snap a picture when you see someone on the street?
CS: Hats are one of my biggest weaknesses, but the thing that always catches my eye is when someone exudes confidence.
Novella: Besides street style photography, what other kinds of photography also interests you?
CS: I still really enjoy shooting urban decay and architecture. I like to experiment with the mundane and create a cinematic mood giving people a different perspective on our environment.
Novella: Do you have a theme song when you’re taking photos?
CS: The Benny Hill theme song….
For more, visit Chris Smart’s website at www.csmartfx.com.