Victoria grew up in Oakhurst California also known as "the gateway to Yosemite". She taught herself about the camera and practiced "seeing" with her father's old metal body Pentax, shooting around her family ranch and the beautiful foothills of the sierra's. She was the first student at Yosemite high school's digital photography class where she was "classically trained" on a Mavica digital floppy disk camera. For two years in the class her passion grew for digital imaging and Photoshop retouching.
The summer before her senior year at high school she was lucky enough to follow her father in a few cities on tour with Supertramp in Europe. As she toured a bit with them she was able to create a portfolio in black and white and color slide of her favorite places in France and a few concert shots (where she had room for improvement). Armed with her portfolio she was accepted into Cal Poly's 10-student photography program.
She graduated with her BFA degree in Photography and Digital Imaging in 2005 but was hungry for more digital knowledge.
She started out as second assistant to Canon Explorer of Light, George Lepp, at his photography school in California. She was fresh out of college and she made it to manager within the year.
As manager, she saw the opportunity to take over the school with her husband, Hal Schmitt.
Once they purchased the school in 2007 Victoria had a crazy dream. She wanted to create a photography festival. For 3 years she put together the plans and created a list of her favorite photo-educators in the industry to create what was originally going to be called "Canon Love Fest". The name didn't quite stick so she changed it to The California Photo Festival.
Now in it's fourth year this October 7-11, she is still living that crazy dream to create an incredible event each year.
Victoria and Hal have 2 beautiful children who are often used as class models and lunch time entertainment.
Victoria loves helping students of all ages with their portfolio and their retouching skills. Her goal has always been to help others feel confident in their work and help them achieve the best work possible. Her favorite things is the "Light bulb effect" and she has also been deemed the "Spot Nazi" from time to time.