Tess Smith



Do you remember those little disposable cameras? I ALWAYS had one on me. In high school I spent my paychecks on disposable cameras, and prints from the one hour photo. I'd always check the box for "doubles" and then hand out photos to my friends so they could hold onto their memories, too. I'd get my prints back and just stare at the photos. Over and over and over again. I'd shuffle them again and again. I’d take in the scenery. I’d put myself back in the photo and try to pick up the feelings, smells, tastes. I'd just linger there hanging onto the moment. I suppose I should have known then that to me a photograph wasn’t just a photograph. It was an escape. And those photos made my friends happy. And man do I love making people happy. 

I purchased my first REAL camera in late 2008 and Tess Smith Photography was born shortly after. I told all of my friends that I was a photographer. I didn’t know exactly what that meant or what it looked like but I loved the way it sounded. It felt right.  As I spent more time behind the camera, I developed my craft and my purpose. I decided to document what was going on around me with intention and authenticity, not perfection.  I aim to create imagery that makes you want to stare too long, feel the warmth between the subjects, and soak it all in. My hope is that when you're staring at my photos you feel as if you know the family. 

I live in Northeast Ohio with my husband, our 5 children, and our old lady boxer Bea. My husband and I share a passion for celebrating the every day. I use a lens and he uses food. My husband, Mike Smith... also known as "Hey! Aren't you Tess Smith's husband?" owns a catering company called THYME and we're set to open our first restaurant in the next few weeks, THYME TABLE.   Together we enjoy renovating, designing, spending time and creating purpose in our home with family + friends.