Michael Thoennes

Photographer Michael Thoennes Michael Thoennes is one of Miami’s most innovative advertising photographers. A self-described “artist making a living in the commercial world”, Thoennes’s advertising clients have included American Express, Dell Computers, DHL Worldwide, Couples Resort, Ford Motor Company, Hewlett Packard, Molson Canadian Beer, Sprint, Weston Hotel and the US Postal Service.

Michael received a BFA from the University of Florida in 1989. While a student he was exposed to the work of legendary photographer Jerry Uelsmann, at the time a graduate research professor who had already won Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Thoennes intended to pursue a career in graphic design, but the influence of Uelsmann and other faculty, Wallace Wilson, Yvonne Streetman and Maggie Taylor, inspired him to pursue photography. The decision led him to acclaim his senior year when he won the Harmon Photo Award, the top photography prize at the school’s annual Juried Student Arts Exhibition.

Upon graduation, Thoennes found work in Kansas City as an assistant to Dan White, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and Nick Vedros, a well-acclaimed advertising photographer. The experience gained working with Dan provided Michael the confidence to set out on his own. In 1995, he relocated to Miami, Florida where he began to secure work with local magazines like Ocean Drive and Miami Business.

From there his client base swelled, and he has since worked as both an advertising photographer and an art photographer balancing his commercial work with artistic exhibitions. Agencies that have worked with him include Crispin Porter and Bogusky, Ogilvy, Saatchi and Saatchi, Sony Music, Turbulence Advertising and Young and Rubicam. He currently has an installation hanging on loan to British Airways Miami, and has successfully exhibited in a solo show and several group exhibitions during the annual Art Basel Miami Beach.

Call Digital Photo Academy at 1 877 372 2231. Lots of people seem to hang up if our welcome recording comes on instead of a live voice, but we promise to return your message within a day or two if you leave one with your name and number.  It would be even better if you included your e mail address as well as the date and city of the class you are considering.  If leaving a voice mail message is not your thing, please email us at DPAbooking@digitalphotoacademy.com or Richard@digitalphotoacademy.com.

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  1. “The class was great. I truly enjoy small groups. The venue was very different than what I had expected from the class. It was a wonderful opportunity to explore a new place, excellent coordination. Michael was excellent and provided guidance, suggestions, and many ideas that helps the students to think (or take pictures) totally out of the box.”

    -Yvonne Debesa

  2. “This was my first advanced class and I loved it. Michael Thoennes is a great intructor and the field shooting was awesome. I would definetely be interested in participating in future advanced classes.”

    – Christina Voswinckel

  3. “I just completed the advanced DPA class with Michael Thoennes. This is my second class and this one was certainly as rewarding as the previous if not more. I loved the field shooting better this time around. Michael is a great instructor and has really helped me develop my style with these two classes. I’m VERY interested in taking more advanced classes.. The topic I would love to see are Studio Lighting (portrait/model).”

    – Matt Winer

  4. “Matt Trask recently joined Michael Thoennes and other Advanced students in Miami for a great sunrise shoot.”

    – Matthew Trask

  5. “After taking both your intermediate and advanced classes, not only have I learned a great deal about photography, technique, and process, but your classes have sparked my interest and made me want to learn more. While on safari in Africa, I was able to utilize what I learned from you and my photographs turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I am even more passionate about digital photography than I was before and I have recommended your classes to many people!

    Attached are a few of my shots from Saturday morning. You are a great teacher and I’d love to take more classes with you!”

    – Blake Roberts

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