Michal Venera

Sausalito, California

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About Me

I grew up in Prague, then Communist Czechoslovakia. My father gave me my first camera when I was twelve, and as a teenager I would wander around the streets of the old city and capture images that intrigued my imagination. I often visited museums and learned from observing the paintings and photographs of the masters. Those early years living in the city of old Prague, with its moody light and historic architecture, had the greatest impact on developing my creative eye. My life turned upside down when I defected from Czechoslovakia at the young age of 19 years old. After spending time in refugee camps, I arrived in New York penniless. I made my way across the United States on a Greyhound bus and ended in San Francisco. From then on, I worked at multiple odd jobs to put myself through the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where I majored in Photography. Later, I opened my photography studio and have been fortunate to establish a very successful commercial photography career with a diverse set of clients. I'm an intrepid world traveler, and always have my camera at hand. I split my time with my family between a converted 120-year old tug boat docked in Sausalito, a small seaside town just across from San Francisco and a 36-acre olive ranch in West Marin where I do most of my work when not on location.

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