In the 90s, she worked as a Photography Assistant to Lorna Simpson and then as a Photography Research Editor for publications including Vogue and The New Yorker. Smith has been in exhibitions at institutions including MoMA PS1; the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA; Castelli Gallery, NY; and Huxley Parlour, London. She has collaborated with her partner Haim Steinbach since 1993. Smith has published multiple monographs including The Black Woman Project (Volumes 1-3) and Island. She is a 2021-22 Artist in Residence at The Center for Book Arts in NYC. Smith lives and works in Long Island City, New York.