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Moscow International Foto Awards - Gavin Smart

Huge congratulations go to Gavin Smart, a graduating student from our BA Professional Photography Degree. Gavin has just won a number of prizes from the Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA), Silver in Advertising/Product, Gold in People/Portrait, 1st place winner in People, Silver in Fine Art/Portrait. Overall he has been awarded New Talent of the Year 2019 for his series "The Producers".

This comes just after winning a Merit at the Federation of European Professional Photographers Awards. Read more here.

"The Moscow International Foto Awards is another prestigious prize, where my theatrical portrait series “The Producers”, inspired by Mel Brook’s classic film and musical, won the New Talent of the Year 2019 award, which comes with a group exhibition in Moscow on the 19th June and a $2000 cash prize".

On behalf of the lecturing staff at Edinburgh College Photography we are extremely proud to have part of Gavin's photographic journey. He demonstrated great talent in HND1 and just grew and grew all the way through to the BA Degree course. He has been an exceptional student throughout and this has been solely down to his work ethic, attention to detail, excellent planning and logistics and never giving up.

His client list is rapidly expanding with commissions from The Royal Bank of Scotland, Cult Espresso Falcon Speciality Coffee, Thompson's Coffee Roasters, Cairgorm Coffee and Jonnie Walker.

How does it feel to win these awards?

In the third year of my studies at Edinburgh college, I have been very fortunate enough to have already won a number of student prizes such as the AOP and BIPP, but these two recent awards have been a wonderful recognition of all my hard work.

To be selected by an international team of judges, in an independent professional level competition, is an extremely valuable measure of the strength of my work. To know that two very respected bodies have chosen my images from hundreds of other very strong entries, is an incredible confidence boost and acknowledgement of my progress to date.

Plans for the Future?

I hope to continue to build on these early successes, and to develop my freelance career as a young professional. I have already been successful shooting some smaller advertising commissions for Scotland’s top agencies such as Leith and Union, but I hope to grow my reputation and secure work across the UK and beyond. It is a slow and challenging journey, but these awards give me the confidence step out with my portfolio and engage with industry professionals who can help me achieve these goals.

"The Producers" - MIFA 2019, People Photographer of the Year, Gold Winner - Gavin Smart

A series of character portraits for a theatrical production of Mel Brook's 1967 classic The Producers. The story is set in a Broadway theatre in 1950s New York, and explores timeless themes of aspiration, self-esteem and gender identity.Failed theatrical producer Max Bialystock and his accountant Leo Bloom discover a way to make their fortune by staging the biggest flop that Broadway has ever seen! They enlist the help of Franz Leibkind with his musical "Spring Time for Hitler," one that they are sure is bound to a disaster!

It's OK - MIFA 2019 Bronze in Editorial/Photo Essay & Gold in nature & Pets - Gavin Smart.

"However you feel, it's OK to say..."A gentle meditation on loneliness, isolation and depression. The project hopes to promote understanding and education towards mental health problems; to create a culture of caring before these issues become a crisis. With over 12.5 million people in UK suffering from mental health issues in the work place and beyond, and it is time to remove the stigma from these problems and to start talking to one another".

Gavin is an award-winning freelance photographer and digital assistant based in Edinburgh, working throughout the UK and beyond. He originally trained as a classical and jazz musician at London’s Guildhall School of Music, before moving to Paris as an artisan baker, working with leading French boulangerie Eric Kayser. His photographic work is as diverse as his background, telling thought-provoking stories through creative imagery. He draws particular inspiration from the art, design and photography that he was exposed to during his time in Paris.

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