Michael Lee Chao is a fine art photographer originally from the Hudson Valley region in New York. Just before his 30th birthday in 2010, he relocated across the country to San Diego, California where he quickly realized the importance of sunny, 70-degree winters. As of the summer of 2018, Michael has since moved across the country (again) to Boston, Massachusetts to pursue his Master's in Fine Arts.

           Primarily self-taught as a photographer, he spent one year at New York’s School of Visual Arts in 2008 and began taking various photography classes at San Diego City College starting in 2012. Michael has shown work in numerous shows at City College’s Luxe Gallery with his portfolio "Luminous Alchemy" having been honored as Best In Show at the 2015 Juried Student Exhibition. He has also done work with the AjA Project, MOPA, BRIDGE, and at City College as an assistant teacher, workshop leader, and guest lecturer. 

           Having briefly explored portraiture, fashion, and event photography, Michael now considers his work primarily fine art-focused. An avid lover and collector of old cameras, he works heavily with film and instant cameras. While his work is varied in subject, Michael is always drawn to a sense of simplicity in his photography and the ability to show the everyday in an unexpected way. A former musician and an active writer, he is constantly looking for ways to combine artistic mediums and to pass on his love and passion for the arts. 

           Michael is currently working towards completing his education in creative writing and photography with the goal of becoming a teacher.


A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there - even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.
— Robert Doisneau