Sue at work by Max E Miller – Narracorte Caves

Sue Smith is a South Australian photographer and painting artist who is known for her shots of nature, heritage, industrial and structural subjects. Her use of light, angles and natural colour makes her work stunningly authentic and gained her national and international awards.

Growing up in Western Germany, Sue inherited the photography and Arts by her father, an architect, civil engineer and photographer, he was her teacher in darkroom and field and gifted her his Leica camera to her 4th birthday. 

Sue describes her photography as “painting with a camera”, rather than a canvas. She says: “Just like a painting you consider the colours, composition, elements and effects of light and shadows, and often you have only a split-second.”

In front of the cameras when she was signed by a modelling agency for Brides Wear and as  Footwear Model. Whilst modelling she was introduced to an advertising agency working next to the Set on a TV commercial. After accepting that spot her acting career started with roles in films, and a guest role at the Wiesbaden Staatstheater Kleines Haus, later followed by movies, TV Travel Shows, etc.

Behind the camera, Sue started her career as a freelance photojournalist for newspapers and the leading Youth Magazine Bravo where she primarily focused on interviews and photos of musicians before, during and after concerts, to name some of them: Freddy Quinn, Peter Alexander, Udo Juergens, Peter Maffay, Freddie Mercury, The Lords.
She had Sports Great in front of her lens like the football rivals Sepp Maier goalkeeper at FC Bayern Munich., her idol Radi Radenkovic goalkeeper at TSV 1860 Munich and trainers where she especially was fond of working with the controversial Trainer Werner Lorant. 

When working in Davos Sue had the luck to be invited by the great Liz Taylor and Richard Burton which had watched her shooting a series of stars and starlets in the white winter wonderland in the Switzer Alps. Some of them she worked with during this time she met again when accepting a job in the department “Trick, Graphic, Photography and News” at the new founded German television Broadcaster ZDF. 

Sue had then some short breaks from photography when she was in front of cameras and later some accidents. When she learned how to do great photos despite being wheelchair bound she was back in business even it was very restricted so she concentrated on creating Art.    

After Sue had emigrated to Australia, travelled the country and settled, she continued her career as a photographer, won some merits during her time with a local photography club. Encouraged by a friend she begun to show her works at the Royal Adelaide Show, the Noarlunga Arts Centre, Rotary Art Shows include her SALA participations and own Solo Exhibitions.

The exhibition success made Sue thinking of entering in competitions. Her first successful one entry was November 2009 “Urban Bird Life” which was s followed by a 24-hours challenge by the Advertiser Newspaper, followed by many more competitions on a national and international basis.

Professional photography had to stop when another serious accident left her with a permanent disability which cause loss of sensation in the fingertips but her psychiatrist, an excellent photographer himself, guided her back into photography and learning  to adapt to this and Sue accepted again bookings for commercial and domestic photography, events and VIP photography. 

Sue established then the Adelaides Sue Smith Photography (ASSP) Gallery in Port Adelaide SA where she presented besides her own photography paintings by Aboriginals Youth and Elders, local schools with works from Pre-school to year 12, artists with mental    issues and special needs and encouraged others in telling her story to express their emotions through photography and art. This became a passion and launched her into roles as artist manager, curator, supervisor of a Rotary Art Show with more than 500 installation works. 

To Sue’s success in photography added in early 2019 that Sue was ranked by the American Light Space Time Online Gallery as 10th out of top 15 international top photographers for her award-winning version of the Adelaide Mall Spheres (aka The Balls).

To present her SALA Festival solo Art Show with more than 160 photographs and some of her paintings Sue had hired for July 2019 a large Art Gallery. The exhibition was entertained by speeches and live performances by Jazz singer Avril and poems by the Bard from the Shrub and Coles Port Adelaide businesses supported Sue with drinks for the kids and the materials for the kids activities during her Art Show. 

This event was followed “Artist of The Month” by the Port Adelaide Enfield Council Visitor Information Centre where Sue presented 34 photographs of Port Adelaide from land to water, Port River Dolphins, and important Port Adelaide sites now and in the past.  In the main foyer of the VIC visitors was welcomed by a large painting by Sue.

This small exhibition was immediately followed Sue’s 150+ works Solo Exhibition at The British Hotel in Port Adelaide, which ran from and from 3th November 2019 to February 2020 with rotating photographs.

Also in November 2019 Sue’s photographic study of a local heritage building, the “Harts Mill Packing Shed”, was a finalist in the South Australian Government ‘“Essence of Heritage” Photo/Video Competition in November 2019. This work was then presented by the Government at the Adelaide Convention Centre until COVID-19 hit. After lifting of restrictions and travel ban the work could be seen during October-November 2020 at the Domestic Terminal at the Adelaide Airport.

As mentioned Sue experienced since birth a number of accidents causing to re-adjust and staying strong but these have also shaped her Photography, her passion to  connect and help people in sharing her story, and her dedication to support organisations in the health like the RFDS Royal Flying Doctor Service, Care Flight, etc.

As a national and international award winner Sue has received multiple accolades for her photography. Although she has a range of cameras to choose from the majority of the awarded works are captured with an Olympus SP-550UZ and a Pentax-X5. While she mainly worked with Nikon dSLR cameras and Kodak Film the impact of a shoulder injury with sensory issues in the fingertips from an accident required her to change back to the lightweight well maintained digital equipment, and if necessary Sue does hire special cameras for special jobs.

Sue is based in the picturesque Port Adelaide with its Port River dolphins, home of maritime history, the worlds oldest Clipper Ship “City Of Adelaide”, three major museums in one street, beautiful heritage buildings, Birds Sanctuary, top shops and cute hidden gems, and lots of holiday activities just a few minutes drive from Adelaide the capital city of South Australia.

She works with both private and commercial clients and prefers to work outdoors as much as possible. Sue is hired for a wide range of subjects from structural and engineering detail works to work places, vehicles, and home, and she can be booked for Port Walks to show you some of her techniques when you like to improve your photography. 

What makes Sue stand out against the multitude of photographers and artists around the globe is her dedication to photography and the world around us, her friendliness and patience, her excellent services, transparency, her dedicated network of partners which enable to offer Sue works in any finishing and size for both: commercial and domestic use.

Contact: sue@suesmithphotography.com.au