The scene opens with a ship, sailing on the ocean into the sunset. The Captain is headed out with a group of travelers for a special nighttime dive under the sea in the surrounding waters of the Islands of St. Thomas. The boat is filled with the traveler passengers, diving equipment, cameras, a few guitars for entertainment and the Captain’s trustworthy first mate, his best friend and dog, Tilt.
This is not the opening of a blockbuster movie, this is just the daily life of Jimi Smith. Jimi’s journey to land him on the beautiful Caribbean paradise that he now calls home- is a journey that Hollywood movie scripts dream of. Growing up in Athens, Georgia Jimi’s life began as most Southern men’s do- attending college and taking care of his mother. Although he attended The Berkley College of Music in Bostonwhere he was classically trained on the piano and has played guitar in many bandshis journey to an artistic island life originally started in the technical world. He uses these technical talents in many ways- applies it to his photography profession, and excels specifically in photographing landscapes. His unique style sets him apart, using an artistic eye with a technical vision, giving him the competitive edge to make his pictures look better than the reality.
Before Jimi started down the artistic path to photography as a career; he had already attended multiple colleges, where he completed a variety of degrees. Utilizing a class project to support the funds he needed to acquire them all. Jimi is an electrical & recording engineer, with an engineer degree and a passion for physics. Feeling restless, he heads back to Georgia to attend The University of Georgia to study fine arts. An econ class assigns the students a project to create a product for sale- Jimi creates a bottle opener that gains popularity and is still in production today! This booming business puts him through courses to a 3rd degree, this time towards the fine and technical art of photography. As he is managing a music venue, playing guitar, and learning all about the technical sides to photography- a call comes in that will change his life’s direction forever.
Jimi is asked to join a crew to sail the ocean blue, and to take on a new career pathas commercial treasure hunter! He works towards his commercial diver license and begins to prepare for an Odyssey off the coast of Florida to search underwater for long lost treasures. After the crew discovers sunken treasures, a court dispute begins that will place the Odyssey
on hold, and steer Jimi’s path onto a new course once again. Now that he has his commercial diver license, he can accept a job offer on a global ship that will travel to St. Thomas. This offer comes in at the last minute, and has Jimi jumping in his car to drive to the interview, all day and on his birthday! Jimi sails into St. Thomas, landing in (for now) his new home! Over the next few years, he gets to know the islands while working as an engineer and a diver on multiple boats. Enjoying the island life and the vibrant people, Jimi creates a post that will spread around town and become a local source for “What’s going on” in St. Thomas. This creates a forum where he begins to share with the world photos of the island paradise, bringing in tourists, guests, and creating a new market for landscape art.
Currently a mechanic on a dive boat, a local celebrity, and a diving instructor- Jimi has the freedom to propel his photography career, polish his style, develop his techniques and cultivate his passion into art. Jimi will be sharing his photography techniques with us, discussing his style and workflow in the coming issues. Stay tuned for Jimi’s advice on turning your landscape into art through the eyes of a camera lens. As Jimi Smith, like the ocean, goes with the flow of wherever life may take him; he will be joining us for in depth discussions on his process, and his many life adventures. Stay tuned for the upcoming “episodes” in “The Well”, featuring Jimi Smith. As his life hasn’t become a Hollywood movie script…yet; we bring to you the inside scoop, directly from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Check out Jimmi’s patented bar Wrench at http://www.barwrench.com/ and his photography portfolio at http://www.jimismithphotography.com/