A series of photos from the world of nail art has been captured by photographer Matt Smith and has inspired him to turn his passion for the subject into a full-time job.
Matt Smith started working as a portrait photographer in 2009, before moving on to work for a nail salon in Sydney.
He says his obsession with nail art began at the age of five, when he was fascinated by the way that his parents’ nails looked, and how they all glowed.
“My father has these amazing, gold, long, silver nails, and my mum has these little gold, tiny, tiny little silver nails that look like they were made of gold,” he says.
“I started painting nails, I was fascinated, I had to do it, it was a hobby.”
Matt says he eventually realised that the hobby would not be enough to make his dreams come true.
“It’s about the passion and the desire to make something happen, that is what keeps me going,” he said.
“So, if I’m in a moment of inspiration, it’s usually the spark to keep going.”
Matt is currently working on a new series of pictures for the Australian Art & Design magazine, and hopes to launch it in September.
He said he had a couple of different inspirations for the images, including his father’s long-haired, red nails, which he describes as a kind of homage to his own hair.
“He has this gold, goldish-gold look that I love, I just thought, that’s my dad’s style,” he explains.
“And his nail art is just the opposite of that.
It’s this golden, red-gold colour, like he’s trying to match his own style.”
Matt said he decided to take his inspiration to the next level after he was approached by a few nail artists for the shoot.
“One of the nail artists actually offered me to do a shoot with them, which is great to see that they are actually interested in what I’m doing,” he explained.
“The one thing I wanted to get out of it was the sense of community, I wanted everyone to be able to look at the photos and know I’m a passionate photographer, I’m passionate about nail art.”
Matt hopes the photos will help people understand the value of nail design and encourage them to start thinking about what their nails might look like.
“Nails are a very beautiful, complex object, and they can look like a lot of different things, depending on what you want them to look like,” he adds.
“But if you take a look at a nail, and think about what it could be, you can see that it could look a lot different.”
Matt will be shooting his new series on his Instagram account @bendymatt and he’s also working on his own website.