Photographer Michael P. Smith (1937–2008) captured the heart and soul of New Orleans’s music, culture, and folkways. He documented the physical and social structures that helped shape the unique cultural identity of his native New Orleans. In 2007, The Collection acquired Smith’s body of work, ensuring both its long-term preservation and ultimate public access.

Visit The Historic New Orleans Collection's YouTube channel and see In the Spirit: The Photography of Michael P. Smith, a video addressing the life and work of Michael P. Smith.


The Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography (MPS Fund) was created by the New Orleans Photo Alliance to honor the life and work of Michael P. Smith, one of New Orleans’ most legendary and beloved documentary photographers. The MPS Fund awards one $5000 grant annually to a Gulf Coast photographer whose work combines artistic excellence and a sustained commitment to a long-term cultural documentary project.