"I try to capture the energy of a person who is being true to themselves. This I believe is the essence of a photograph." - Michael Muller
Raised in Northern California by Thomas and Janiece Muller, Michael spent much of his youth traveling to more than fifty different Countries due to his family’s move to Saudi Arabia where his father over saw the building of Jubail for Bechtel. It was here that he was first inspired to pick up a camera after he saw the joy that his father derived from taking pictures.
After returning back to the United States; Michael at the age of fifteen began photographing the sport of snowboarding. Within a year, he saw his first photographs published. With little documented photographic experience, he was accepted into the Otis Parsons School of Design with advanced placement. After one short semester he found himself an art school dropout. Michael then embarked on a journey of self-education. By the time he was twenty-two, running on talent alone, he began photographing some of the most prestigious names in the entertainment and fashion industry.
His work has graced the covers and pages of magazines including: Vanity Fair, Elle, Rolling Stone, Harper's Bazaar, Flaunt, The New York Times, ESPN, Filter, Esquire, Interview and Time Magazine. Some of his more well known movie posters include MARVEL Studios AVENGERS, BATTLESHIP, REAL STEEL, TOWER HEIST, CAPTAIN AMERICA, IRONMAN, SPIDERMAN, X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE, HANCOCK, MAX PAYNE, ENTOURAGE, 24, SONS OF ANARCHY, SPARTACUS, as well as many other film and television projects.
Michael has worked on campaigns for SPEEDO, NIKE, BILLABONG, DITA EYEWEAR, RANGE ROVER, DODGE, FILA, and VON ZIPPER. He also just finished an extensive Scuba Expedition in The Galapagos Islands for the Swiss watchmaker IWC that is going to help support The Charles Darwin Foundation and UNESCO.
Michael recently spent time documenting Rihanna for her Unapologetic album that launched in late 2012. Along with shooting Lil Wayne’s latest album cover he has also ventured into directing and was recently signed by RSA, the production company founded by powerhouse directors Ridley Scott and the late Tony Scott.
His latest projects include a photo App for the iphone (Mullerphoto) which helps users to edit their photos in his signature styles. Along with the App, Michael has partnered up with Billabong to launch a “White Mike” clothing line featuring some of his unique shark photos. Proceeds for the clothing line will go to Earth Echo and help to raise awareness of the declining shark populations, a cause that Michael is very passionate about.
Two of Michael’s many other passions are adventure and charities. In January 2010, he joined a team of climbers including actors Emile Hirsch and Jessica Biel, as well as recording artists Santigold, Lupe Fiasco, and Kenna on a trek to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. The goal of the high-profile expedition, called Summit on the Summit, was to raise awareness of clean-water issues worldwide. A film crew from MTV produced a 90-minute documentary on the trip, and Michael documented it with photos that were later published in Outside magazine, among other numerous publications World Wide.
In early 2009, he went on an intense photographic expedition to the Galapagos Islands for Swiss watchmaker IWC with a team from UNESCO and the Charles Darwin Foundation. “We traveled over 1,200 miles aboard a 40-foot vessel,” explains Michael, who shot close to 15,000 images on the seven-day trip. “We would dive four times a day at a very hectic pace and were blessed with the presence of every major creature one would hope to see there.” IWC used Michael’s Galapagos photos to introduce its new Aqua timer watch collection.
Michael is also the cofounder of Kids Clicking Kids, which distributes cameras to children in hospitals and encourages them to photograph their world. The program is administered through the nonprofit organization Art of Elysium, “What Kids Clicking Kids encompasses is putting cameras into the hands of children and allowing them to go into their environments and capture moments,” Michael says. “Sometimes with full studio lighting and other times just keeping it simple. Whatever dynamic is arranged, the result is always the same: watching children smile, laugh, and leave their situation behind for a time and create art.”
Michael also spends much of his time above and below the water documenting wildlife in a way that has never been done before. Michael brings the studio to these animals in their natural environment and lights them in a visceral way that pushes the viewer to question what they are looking at. The Travel Channel just aired an hour long special that followed Michael and his crew documenting 8 different species of sharks using his patented lights and of course with NO cages.
After more than two decades of living, traveling and working in Los Angeles, New York and Paris, at the age of forty two, Michael once again calls Los Angeles his home. Michael is happily married with 3 daughters, 2 dogs and a couple cats.
Michael's unique; signature style speaks for itself. His passion for the art and commerce of photography can easily be felt by simply looking at his pictures.
"When people view my work, I simply want to evoke emotion, and let the viewer feel they are in fact ALIVE"