city 1 pageJoseph P. Smith (b. 1959) is a photographer and artist absorbed in an artistic quest that comprises photography, graphic media and painting. Joe, as he is more popularly known, studied art and design in Malta and Florence, Italy, where he was awarded a scholarship in 1983.

He has been working in photography since 1979. He is a member of the Malta Photographic Society which awarded him the coveted Photographer of the Year Award in 1995. Smith is also a Fellow of the Malta Institute of Professional Photographers. He is often called upon by both organisations to judge competitions and give lectures. In 1995 he was made Associate of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and later Artist of the International Federation of Photographic Art. In 2001 he was the first and only Maltese photographer to achieve Fellowship status at the Malta Institute of Professional Photographers. In November of the same year he was also made Associate of the Master Photographers Association of the UK.abstract 1 page

Joe has a strong preference for monochrome photography, especially that depicting the performing arts, and his name has become synonymous with evocative pictures of jazz musicians who have performed at the Malta Jazz Festival. Joe has been the official photographer of the Festival since the first edition was held in 1991. Many of his jazz pictures can be found on the websites of renowned musicians who played in the Festival. His work also includes abstract images of architecture, cityscapes and found objects.

Having been an avid darkroom worker, he has explored many ways to reproduce monochrome effects digitally with some great results. For Joe, photography is not just a recording medium, and his 1995 exhibition of abstract photographs testifies that his artistic endeavours do not bind him down to one avenue of expression. Joe has also been responsible for the design of various logos of established companies, brochures, packaging, CD sleeves and postage stamps.

In October 2002 he was awarded the prestigious Overseas Master Photographer Award by the Master Photographers Association of the UK in the Fashion/Illustrative category. In 2003 he received no less than three Awards of Excellence by the same awards body, and in April 2004 he received one the highest accolades in photography when he was successful in attaining Fellowship status with the MPA. This he achieved by presenting a panel of twenty monochrome pictures depicting jazz musicians who have played in Malta since the inception of the Malta Jazz festival. At the first ever British Professional Photography Awards in October 2004, Joe also carried away the Overseas Press and PR Category with one of his jazz pictures. During 2004 he also achieved Fellowship status with the British Institute of Professional Photography. In 2005 he was once more the recipient of Overseas Pictorial and Illustrative Photographer of the Year category at the BPP awards, and was also a finalist in the Fashion category and the Press and PR category. Later that year, Joe joined the SWPP and he was made Fellow of the Association in 2007. Joe has garnered quite a good number of awards during the annual SWPP Convention and he has since been a regular lecturer and competition judge during the SWPP's annual conventions.

remnants page2008 was a great year for Joe, as he once again put Malta's name on the map when he won the overall first prize, out of 2,500 European photographers, in the photo contest organised by the European Union to commemorate the Year of Intercultural Dialogue. The theme of the contest was "Cultures on My Street".

Joe has had work published in various publications. In 2009 he published his first book called "Survivors", which is a photo documentary on the ageing population of Birgu, a medieval walled town in Malta. The publication has received great reviews and a sequel is currently in the making.

In November 2010 Joe took part in the Jinan Photo Biennial in China following an invitation by the Chinese Ministry of Culture through the China Cultural Institute in Malta. He was also commissioned to produce all the photography for the Bank of Valletta Calendars for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

In 2012 and 2013 Joe was invited to be part of the international judging panel of the inaugural prestigious photo contest HIPA, an initiative of HRH the Crown Prince of Dubai, and also to deliver lectures to Emirati photographers.

Joe is the first Maltese photographer to have his work exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in London after one of his photographs was short-listed for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2014.

Presently Joe is reading for a Masters Degree in Digital Arts at the University of Malta.

Mdina Biennale Venues