We had the good fortune of connecting with Ty Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ty, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
There has been times when I want to give up because I feel like my ideas aren’t reaching their full potential when I create them and other times I feel like wanting to give up because on the business side of things money is moving slow and it can get discouraging to keep moving forward when you want your passion to be your full-time gig. There are many times where I feel like wanting to give up on my art, but it’s usually in those times that I discover a new sense of love and passion for what I do. As this theme has repeated many times in my career and probably will continue over time I’ve come to learn instead of resorting to throwing in the towel I’ll take a step back from everything and start to problem solve. If I’m doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, how do I expect to even grow and reach that next level? So how do I know whether to keep going or to give up? I keep trying new things and don’t get so used to or comfortable with old ways.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since I was young I was always exposed to cameras. My dad always had them around the house and some of my earliest memories were my brothers making these funny movies during the summer on an old VHS camera. I remember one of my brothers asking me to press the record button and since then cameras and telling stories have been a part of my everyday life. I shot my first youtube video back in 2007 and making those videos just brought me so much joy as a little kid and from there I’ve just been educating myself on all things photography, cinematography, and editing. I was a terrible student grade-wise in middle school and high school but the two classes I’d always have an A+ in were video production and yearbook. I got serious about photography in 2014 and I went through a lot of trial and error and trying to find my style. Fast forward to 2016 my high school mentor Rico hired me to shoot an event he was doing for $100. It was from that day that I understood that I was good enough to make this into something more than just a passion, it could provide for my livelihood. So after I graduated from highschool in Aurora, Co in 2018 I moved to LA with my homie Ari from my high school video production class. My first year in LA was really dedicated to getting used to living in a new state and connecting with people. Living in LA for that first year I had a lot of adapting and creative growth pains that took place, but it molded me into the artist that I am now. It wasn’t until the end of 2019 going into 2020 that I started to make real money with my photography. Simply from giving a compliment on a guy’s camera as I was walking down Hollywood back to my apartment it led me to get work with Faze Clan and through that, I got to add some dope names to my portfolio like Beats By Dre, Nissan, and G-Fuel. Shouts out to Soben for taking a chance on the kid! In LA once you get one gig, you’ll meet people that will get you more gigs, and then the snowball effect started to happen for me. Unfortunately, due to covid and other personal reasons I left LA to go back home in September 2020 since then, I’ve been carrying out my business back in Denver, but I still visit LA and do work out there from time to time. LA will forever be my second home, love that place!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I lived right in the middle of Hollywood and there was never a day that passed without something going down. Hollywood is a very interesting place and I have countless stories to tell about it, but If I were to have a friend come out there I would take them to Fat Sals and then head over to that park by the Hollywood Bowl, chill, take pictures and ride scooters around Hollywood.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
One thing about my journey that I believe has gotten me so far is the belief and support of those around me. I’ve been really fortunate to have always had people that believed in me sometimes even more than myself. There’s no one specific person but I definitely wouldn’t be who I am without my parents, siblings, aunts, cousins, mentors, and close friends. They all played an important role in giving me the belief that I could be great at what I do and I’m so grateful for that because I know having a support system like that isn’t something that everyone has. As well there are a few books that I’ve read over the years that also shaped my mindset into what it is now and those books are: Show Your Work By Austin Kleon, Steal Like An Artist By Austin Kleon, Think and Grow Rich By Napoleon Hill, Start With Why By Simon Sinek, How To Win Friends and Influence People By Dale Carnegie and Go For No By Richard Fenton.

Website: www.tysmith.co

Instagram: instagram.com/tysmith.tv

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tyspoke

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.