Abelardo Morell once stated, “I try to approach everything I photograph with a sense of wide-eyed awe”. I discovered his well establish collection of ‘camera obscura’ photography back in 2011 while I was in Rome and I was hooked. I have never thought that light could do such wonder. I wanted to capture it.

I created this camera obscura while I was studying architecture in Rome.  It's the local piazza (city square) reflected into a small kitchen apartment one of my classmates lived in.

    I’m Alexander Michl, Alex for short, and many things fascinate me. Photography is one of those things. Music is another, as well as architecture. Jesus Christ is one above them all, as well as the purpose, but I am always itching for a new discovery, a new opportunity. I live in the city of Des Moines, Iowa and it offers more than I ever could have imagined.  The people here are genuine, and there’s this unmistakable balance of a metropolitan machine hustling with growth, and a personal small town vibe where I will see my friend Courtney at the grocery store. It’s beautifully expansive and intimate at the same time. I married a beautiful woman who grew up here and she is by far the most exciting, loving, and faithful person I have the pleasure of knowing.  She’s my partner on all my photographic excursions and I love her with all my heart.  I suppose that’s why I’m always capturing her photograph. I recently got her a camera and I’m excited for what’s to come when she looks through the lens.

This is my wife, Allison.  We decided to go out to the rose garden one morning and she looked beautiful in the light.  She's absolutely amazing and I wouldn't be half the person I am without her.  

Photography has captivated me through more facets than I could have ever imagined. It’s an amazing tool to visualize the place, a medium to create a moment, an archive of an experience. It’s this versatility that grabs my (and many others’) attention.  Back in Architecture studio, I remember contemplating how I can integrate photography into my studio projects. I’d create a space out of cardboard that works like a lens, I’d design a space specifically for photography students, like a school of arts building, and I would even photograph the other students’ final projects just to learn how light played with the model (the cardboard kind). Within the creative process of designing buildings, I was ultimately seeing the world through the lens of photography. It was wonderful. 

I made this concept model with the intention of the building as an object that manipulates light. 

I made this concept model with the intention of the building as an object that manipulates light. 

    I work at an architecture firm and I still find every excuse to pick up my camera. There is something enticing about letting creativity flow freely through multiple mediums. There’s a sense of connection with what inspires you and even more so with what you’ve created. It’s a peculiar thing to understand how one art medium can inspire another. I want to let all of you know that I’m writing this because there’s a remarkable story behind every click of the shutter and every person that steps in front of the camera. These stories are no longer for my own keeping but are meant to be heard. This is going to be good.