Carl J. Reis was born October, 1873 in Norway. He immigrated with his family in 1883, settling in Willmar, Minnesota. In 1886 he moved to Fargo, where he worked as a photographer in the Gilbert E. Flaten studio in 1891.
In November 1895 Reis and Theodor Larsen went into business together for a year, having purchased the studio of Gilbert E. Flaten. In October of 1896, Reis and Larsen sold their studio to Jacob Skrivseth. Then Mr. Reis spent 1897 to 1899 with A. A. Bentley & Company. In 1899, Carl J. Reis went into business with Hans T. Hanson.
Carl Reis married Carrie Skogen on January 7, 1897 in Fargo. Together they had six children. He left Fargo in 1901 and in 1905 he homesteaded in Garness Township, Burke County, North Dakota. He stayed there for only a short period of time before moving to Tompkins, Saskatchewan, Canada. He died there on October 23, 1955.