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Meet Lance Smith of Lance Smith Photography in Carlsbad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lance Smith.

Lance is probably the best action sports photographer you’ve never heard of. Renowned as one of the foremost skate and surf photographers ever involved in both sports, he is revered as one who is incredibly versatile and known as an innovator in his style and use of equipment.

Always on the cutting edge to stretch his creative muscles, he uses the latest techniques and state of the art equipment to bring his images to all of us.

For over forty years, he and his incredible photographic career has pinpointed our ubiquitous oceans and the California “lifestyle” like few others. His ability to blend into the surroundings enables him to become part of whatever and wherever he points his camera to get the shot, bring home the goods and document the moment. It is almost like he is camouflaged while on assignment. His action images and suggestive portraits bring out the “All” in whatever he is working on at the moment. His surf and skate photos are tack sharp and his real estate work specializes in high dynamic range photos and single strobe listing shots of the highest quality.

He has documented the evolution of both the surfing and skateboarding worlds since the early 70’s. Living on Maui, he witnessed the surf world’s short board revolution first hand. As the team manager/staff photographer at Tracker Trucks, he was at skate boarding’s ground zero. His archives are filled with history from young performers like musical giants Crosby and Nash live on stage in Santa Barbara, to Phil Mickelson golfing in a professional tournament at Torrey Pines.

Currently, besides his coastal photo sessions, he is working diligently alongside of Larry and Louise Balma, of Transworld Publishing fame, on a coffee-table book that documents the Skateboard world of the 70’s and 80’s like nothing ever seen before.

From golf to food, weddings to still life, on a cliff or in a vineyard he and his cameras are as seasoned a full service photographer that you could ask for.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Achieving your goals is never easy, especially with photography. It has been a long and bumpy road, with lots of ups and downs. The advent of digital photography has been a boon and a bust. I love it, but it basically made everyone think they are a photographer. No sour grapes though, it’s just a natural progression.

Lance Smith Photography – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I started out as a sports photographer. Shooting mostly surfing and skateboarding, and I still consider myself a sports shooter, but, there is no money in it for me anymore. Sports shooting is just a hobby for me now. I make my photo money shooting real estate.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is measured by my satisfaction in my work, and making money at it.


  • Real estate photography prices are: Price is $150 for units up to 2500 sq.ft. and $200 over 2500 sq.ft Drone services available.
  • Private surf photo sessions are $150.00 for 2 hours.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All photos copyright Lance Smith

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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