This native of Edinburgh, Scotland, got his first camera at the age of eight, a box Brownie. After graduation, Ian Smith (c. 1921-c. 1987) was teaching languages and history for a couple of years when he decided to take courses in photography. In 1944 he worked as a still photographer for the classic British film A Canterbury Tale, and that same year he joined the LIFE lab in London as an assistant. By the following year he was on staff.

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

Architecture of an English castle. (Photo by Ian Smith/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Architecture of an English castle. (Photo by Ian Smith/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

People sitting in the sand at Blackpool beach. (Photo by Ian Smith/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

People sitting in the sand at Blackpool beach. (Photo by Ian Smith/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

More Like This

Dr. Arnold Gesell (C) studying baby at Yale's child psychology lab. (Photo by Carl Mydans/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Herbert Gehr

Bushman children playing games on sand dunes.(Photo by N.R. Farbman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

N.R. Farbman

Watching a high ball during baseball game. (Photo by Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Mark Kauffman

Babies crawling during the 8th annual Diaper Service Derby sponsored by the National Institute of Diaper Services. (Photo by Cornell Capa/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Cornell Capa

Light pattern produced by a time exposure of the light tipped rotor blades of a grounded helicopter. (Photo by Andreas Feininger/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Andreas Feininger

President Franklin D. Roosevelt listening to speeches. (Photo by Thomas McAvoy/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Thomas McAvoy