“I try to capture the energy of a person being true to themselves. This, I believe, is the essence of a photograph.”
-- Michael Muller
Photographer Michael Muller has packed several lifetimes worth of adventure into a mere four decades of life. Raised in Northern California, he spent much of his childhood in Saudi Arabia, where his father, an amateur photographer, oversaw the building of the port city of Jubail.
In his mid-teens and 50 countries later, he began making photos of professional snowboarding, a passion that quickly became a profession. By 22, Muller had established himself as a leading entertainment and fashion photographer. His celebrity portraits of Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Jeff Bridges, Robert Downey, Jr., Megan Fox, Scarlett Johansson and hundreds of others have graced the pages and covers of magazines including Vanity Fair, Elle, Rolling Stone, Harper's Bazaar, Flaunt, Filter, Esquire, Interview, and the New York Times Magazine.
He has created iconic images for numerous movie posters, including The Avengers, Battleship, Real Steel, Tower Heist, Iron Man, Captain America, Spiderman, and the TV series Entourage, 24, and Spartacus. He shot Lil Wayne’s latest album cover, and documented Rihanna for her Unapologetic CD. And he has created print campaigns for Speedo, Nike, Billabong, Dita Eyewear, Range Rover, Dodge, Fila, and Von Zipper. He developed his own iPhone app – Mullerphoto – to help users edit their photos in his iconic style, and will soon launch PHOTOschool.com, an online photo-teaching site.
As a director, Muller helmed TV spots for Samsung, Kia Motors, Kodak, Mazda, Converse, and Oakley, and created original sponsored content featuring Colin Farrell for Flaunt, Giovanni Ribisi for New York Moves, Michael Phelps for Speedo, Manny Pacquiao for ESPN, Celine Cousteau for the Glass Is Life campaign, and Joaquin Phoenix for PETA. He also directed a music video for One Republic.
Noted for his close-up underwater shark photography, Muller recently partnered with Billabong to create a line of White Mike clothing to raise money and public awareness for declining shark populations. This projected 10-year effort will eventually encompass a documentary film and coffee table book. In 2010, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro alongside Emile Hirsh, Jessica Biel, Santigold, Lupe Fiasco, and Kenna to raise awareness of clean-water issues, later documented in a 90-minute MTV special.
A United Nations global advocate, he participates actively in its Nothing But Nets campaign to combat malaria in Africa. He also co-founded Kids Clicking Kids, a charity that provides cameras to hospitalized children.