Les Schmidt was born and raised in the Northeast, where frequent family trips to the shore and farm country served as early influences. New York City, with its grand architecture and gritty atmosphere, was also a travel destination and source of inspiration. 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. After two semesters in the school and twice winning the Owen Murphy Faculty Award for Photography, he was offered his first show at Soren Christensen Gallery in New Orleans and since has exhibited extensively in the States as well as Greece and Hungary.