I first heard of Michael P. Smith while researching Clarence John Laughlin Smith, another well known New Orleans photographer. The Mardi Gras Indians were comfortable with him; as well as the musicians and second line members. And it shows in how comfortable people were with him and how he presented them and his vision. He documented many decades of New Orleans history;particularly music, jazz fest,and the culture of second line.

He has many published many books of his work and won many awards. Smith has had many exhibits in museums, such as the Smithsonian and some of the most important photography centers in the US. The New Orleans Historical Collection has acquired all of his negatives, prints papers and his copyright as he is now deceased and plan an exhibit in the future, but no date has been set.