If you follow any high-profile CrossFit athletes on social media, you’ve probably already seen many of the stunning photos by Paul Anthony Smith. Recently we had the chance to talk to Paul about his journey as a photographer.
World champion Olympic weightlifter Dmitry Klokov
Paul has had a lifelong interest in photography. After spending time in the Army, Paul decided to enroll in photography school. Three and a half years later, he continues to pursue his passion through his work with Simply Perfection Photography.
“The opportunity to capture someone who is emotionally giving their all in pursuing their passion – that is what it is all about.”
Paul shared a bit about the journey:
If you would have told me three years ago I would be doing what I do in the photography industry, I would have looked you like you were crazy. But here are we offering high-end photography and servicing spectators and athletes alike of the sport of fitness. In one sentence, dreams can come true.
Olympic weightliting competitor Kendrick Farris
Shooting the Sport of Fitness
Photographing CrossFit athletes was a natural progression for Paul, who has been an athlete all his life. He first discovered CrossFit in 2007 while serving in Iraq, and quickly fell in love with the sport. “One thing just led to another when I picked up photography, and here we are three years later. I’m having the time of my life photographing a lot of my friends and being paid for it.” Although CrossFit remains Paul’s favorite sport to shoot, he shared that he would also like to photograph the Grid League and action sports in the future.
“[The most rewarding aspect of photography] always has been and most likely always will be seeing the reaction of the clients when they are blown away with the final product.”
I asked Paul if there was a specific moment he enjoyed capturing in his photos, and he shared: “The opportunity to capture someone who is emotionally giving their all in pursuing their passion – that is what it is all about.”
CrossFit Games athlete Christmas Abbot
Paul’s ability to capture not only the physical impressiveness of high-profile CrossFit athletes, but also their personality and emotion, makes his work unique and breathtaking. As you can imagine, that combination can pack quite a punch for Paul’s clients when they view his photos for the first time. Paul shared that this reaction is what makes photography most rewarding for him, along with the process of creative expression:
[The most rewarding aspect of photography] always has been and most likely always will be seeing the reaction of the clients when they are blown away with the final product. Although as our shoots get more and more complex, it might be a tie for taking the ideas in our heads at Simply Perfection Photography headquarters and making them a reality.
That theme of making your dreams a reality continues to manifest itself in Paul’s work. All photos courtesy of Paul Anthony and Simply Perfection Photography.
All photos courtesy of Paul Anthony Smith and Simply Perfection Photography.