In 2011, Sam was wandering through an Adelaide arts and craft market and spotted some intriguing photography on display. He introduced himself to the gentleman behind the work and they chatted for a few minutes. Sam opportunistically suggested he’d like to make a short film about the photographs and the technical process involved, and the photographer, Denis, agreed to be a willing subject.

That chance meeting led to the Ball Of Light documentary, a short film written and directed by Sam Collins. The film set out to explain Denis Smith’s Ball Of Light photographic project from a technical point of view. However, over the course of making the film, it was clear there was a much more powerful story to tell.

The film shifted focus, ultimately becoming more about being a human than being a photographer. Upon publishing ‘Ball Of Light’ online, it was an instant viral hit, generating more than 250,000 views to date. The film has been licensed for broadcast in several countries, played at many events and festivals, and in 2012 won Best Documentary at the South Australian Screen Awards.

Soon after, Denis left the world of corporate sales forever, to focus entirely on more creative pursuits. By early 2012 Sam & Denis were working together regularly under the Sam Collins Media banner, making videos for a range of Adelaide clients. At the same time, Denis was establishing Denis Smith Photography, his freelance stills photography service.

Both businesses rapidly grew, notching up a healthy pool of delighted clients. In 2014, the time was right to join forces officially and upgrade a winning creative collaboration into a fully fledged partnership.

And so, Smith & Collins was born.