Moving Images: Sean Smith

Gloucester-based photographer Sean Smith captures unique beauty of some of our region’s most magical places

by | Nov 30, 2021

Coleman Bridge photographed by Sean Smith

Sean Smith’s fascination with photography began when he was a staff member at the Williamsburg Inn in the 1990s. That’s when a coworker sold him a Pentax K1000, the classic, all-manual “tank” of a camera beloved by photography students—back in the pre-digital, traditional 35mm film days—for its durability and simplicity.

He took a few photography classes at a local community college, spent some time at VCU and George Mason University and found his way through a career that took him in and out of the media and restaurant/service industries. That included a stint at a dream job as a public affairs photographer for NASA Langley, during which images he captured of Space Shuttle Discovery’s last flight made their way to the pages of National Geographic and The New York Times.

Smith has recently rekindled his passion for pictures in part for the sake of his own health. After experiencing some medical issues in 2020, he decided to grab his camera and head out the door.

“I started going on 5- and 6-mile walks and just taking pictures,” he explains. Those walks frequently take him around Williamsburg, Yorktown and Gloucester—where he currently lives and works. The photographic results, often posted to his Instagram account, are quite breathtaking.

Spectacular sunsets and sailboats over the York River. Brilliant branches of lightning painted across the sky above the Coleman Bridge. Interpreters in Colonial garb perfectly reflected in pools of rainwater on Duke of Gloucester Street. Birds, butterflies, horses and sheep captured with magnificent macro detail.

Smith says he considers himself lucky to have such a beautiful area to explore. And, for him, it’s about the experience as much as the pictures. “It’s a good way to get out, unplug, get away from your phone and get away from everything.”

When he’s not strolling, snapping, or doing freelance work, he waits table at Olivia’s in the Village in Gloucester, where he also sells prints of his photography.

In the gallery below, we feature a selection of Sean Smith’s photos of local places, people, plants and animals. Follow Sean Smith @tsean64 on Instagram to see more of his work.



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