Michal Venera was born in Prague, formerly communist Czechoslovakia. After escaping on foot across the border of Yugoslavia into Austria, he spent four months in a refugee camp before making his way to New York City, where he took a Greyhound bus across the country. Speaking no English and penniless, Michal landed in San Francisco, where he lived on the streets for several months before receiving his first job as a fisherman. Although he had started a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine in Europe, he decided to put himself through the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he majored in photography to pursue his dream. Michal opened his photography studio 24 years ago, and has built a successful commercial photography career. His clients include Pottery Barn, Kendall Jackson, Mondavi Winery, Crystal Cruises, Leo Burnett, and many others. Michal makes his home with his son on a converted tugboat docked in Sausalito, where he water skis daily. Visit his online portfolio at www.michalvenera.com.
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photos: © 2011 Michal Venera