Michael Schnell was born in Utah and raised in Portland, Oregon. He studied Film and Media Arts at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, focusing on documentary filmmaking. He then started photographing, documenting Utah County and freelancing for the Daily Herald, covering rodeos, college football media days, local business and events, among other things. While freelancing, he worked at a full service film-processing lab, learning the process of shooting and developing photographic film. He relocated to McKinney, Texas, in May 2020, after losing his job due to COVID-19. He documented his family’s journey moving and driving through the Western United States. He is currently studying Documentary and Visual Journalism at the International Center of Photography in New York City.