Maine-native Carter Smith began his career in the world of fashion photography. His breakthrough story included a series of gritty, documentary-style portraits of teen life in the Midwest, which appeared in the British magazine ID. His fashion work and celebrity portraits have since been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, GQ, and W, all photographed in the cinematic style that has become Carter's signature. He has directed commercials for clients such as Lancome, Tommy Hilfiger and Tiffany's. He collaborated with author Dennis Cooper on an feature film script titled 'Warm'.