Nevada City artist, writer and advertising agency owner Dale Smith graduated from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1968. At CCAC, Smith was a student of poet Michael McClure, who instilled in him a love of words. At that time he also developed an interest in photography which, coupled with his friendship with McClure, led him to the doorsteps of many Beat Generation poets living in San Francisco, among them Allen Ginsberg. In 1965, Ginsberg arranged a private session for Smith and Larry Keenan to photograph Bob Dylan, McClure and himself in the alley behind City Lights Bookstore in 1965. Some of these photos eventually found their way onto Dylan's Biograph album.
Smith and his fourteen-year-old daughter Alice live in Nevada City.