Les Schmidt was born and raised in the Northeast, where frequent family trips to the shore and through farm country served as early influences. He moved to New Orleans in the early 1980s, where he became stimulated by the city’s rich history of artists, Old World architecture and famous waterways. Schmidt started shooting in 2000 after being asked to style photo shoots for a local modern architect and became instantly captivated by the art and process of photography. Les received his first 35mm camera and immediately enrolled in the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts twice winning the Owen Murphy Faculty Award for Photography. Schmidt primarily captures austere, decaying, coastal landscapes.