“As a photography student at BYU, I was well prepared, but it was hard to know how to specialize,” says Bay Area photographer Seth O. Smoot (’00). He followed photography opportunities from shoots for bands and music labels in New York City to magazine and catalog work featuring food, interiors, and still lifes. But as a mountain-loving Utahn who still climbs Mt. Timpanogos twice a year, Smoot finds his primary artistic inspiration in the natural world. This love led him and his wife, prop stylist and art director Kendra Livingstone Smoot (BS ’03), to move from New York to a nature-ensconced home in Northern California with views of Mt. Tamalpais. There they raise their three children.
Though clients like Restoration Hardware and Williams-Sonoma provide steady commercial work, Smoot has also expanded and refined his fine art aesthetic, telling stories in his own way. “I want imagery that lets viewers fill in a gap,” he says, that lets them “find their own story there.”