Artist and photographer Michael Paul Smith has spent hours upon hours photographing one special town that he holds very dear to his heart. There is something that always drew him to it, and the images he created are simple, but stunning. They glow with small-town charm and innocence, reminiscent of days and decades past.
The town he photographs is quaint and beautiful.
It’s like each picture tells a story of how life used to be in the United States.
There’s not much going on in these pictures, but it’s obvious that this town is nothing but charm.
But, as it turns out, also not real.
Michael builds custom miniature models and sets, meticulously crafting every detail.
Then, the 60 year-old photographer creates the hyper-realistic images.
If you didn’t know any better, you might think these are vintage photos of a town from a few decades ago
And NOT the extremely small models this man built.
He started building these models as an exercise. He wanted to practice his craft and also photography.
He never imagined it would be a “dream-like reconstruction” of the town he grew up in.
To Michael, this is what quintessential America looked like when he was a kid.
It is absolutely beautiful.
If “Elgin Park” were a real town, I would love to live there.
He creates the scenes by setting up Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint die cast autos and trucks in front of his models on card tables.
Then, he uses the surrounding scenery to make the backgrounds for the photos.
The perspective has to be JUST right
Usually the resulting photos are completely convincing.
Even when you know what’s going on behind the scenes.
It’s all an illusion.
But Michael is able to make an incredibly convincing one.
His selfies aren’t part of the official photo series, but I think they just add to the charm of his work.