Michael Crouser was born in 1962 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from Saint John’s University in 1985. He began making photographs in earnest at the age of fourteen, when he set up a darkroom in his parents’ basement. After college he worked for several years in various Minneapolis commercial photography studios as an assistant, before setting out on his own. While working in the commercial world, Crouser began work on a personal project that would ultimately take fifteen years to complete and which would eventually become his first monograph, “Los Toros” (Twin Palms Publishers, 2007).
At the 2008 International Photography Awards, “Los Toros” (an exploration of the bullfighting around the world) was awarded first prize in the category of Fine Art Book. Crouser’s second book, “Dog Run” (Viking Studio, 2008), a series on the intense play of dogs in urban dog parks, was equally well-received, and was listed as a top ten photography book of the year by the International Photography Awards, PhotoDistrict News, and Communication Arts. Currently, Michael is six years into work on a new book which explores the disappearing world of cattle ranching in the mountains of Colorado. In January of 2012 Leica Gallery of New York exhibited “Michael Crouser: A Mid-Career Retrospective,” which featured four distinct series from twenty-five years of his photography.
Crouser has taught at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Minneapolis Photo Center, and the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops. When not on the road, he divides his time between Minneapolis and Brooklyn.