Michael Peres Headshot

Michael Peres


School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
College of Art and Design

Office Location
Office Mailing Address
70 Lomb Memorial Drive

Michael Peres


School of Photographic Arts and Sciences
College of Art and Design


BA, Bradley University; BS, MS, Rochester Institute of Technology


Professor Michael Peres is an award-winning photo educator, author, and photographer. He joined the faculty of the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences in the fall of 1986. During his career at RIT, he has dedicated himself to inspiring generations of curious students, many who have become leaders in various fields.

Peres has served many leadership roles in the School of Photographic Art and Sciences including associate school director, media art and technology graduate program director, and program director photographic sciences. He also served as program director of the Biomedical Photographic Communications department for nearly 25 years. He is currently the Gannett Chair.

Peres' expertise includes photomicrography as well as other bio-medical photographic applications. His current work explores contemporary media and he has been actively publishing most of his career and in March 2021 his 10th book, Natural Science Imaging and Photography was released. He served as editor-in-chief of the Focal Encyclopedia of Photography - 4th edition. He serves as the Series Editor of the Focal Press Applications of Scientific Photography. Over the last two decades, he has become one of the world leading snowflake photographers and his pictures have been published by Time, CNN, the Weather Channel and Mashable. He has presented papers and imaging-related workshops all over the United States and world in Sweden, Canada, the UK, Austria, Tanzania, the Netherlands, Germany, India, and Australia. 

He serves as one of the long-standing leaders of the signature annual RIT Big Shot event and the Images from Science project. He has won numerous awards including the RIT Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching; the RIT Gitner Prize presented for outstanding performance in the graphic arts (2X); the Louis B. Schmidt Award presented by the BioCommunications Association for life time contributions to the Biocommunications industry; and the 2010 RIT Frank Romano prize for innovation in publishing in the graphic arts. 

Michael earned a masters degree in instructional technology and holds bachelors degrees in biology and biomedical photographic communications. He is also a registered biological photographer.

Prior to joining the RIT faculty, he worked at the Charleston Division of the West Virginia University as a medical photographer and was the supervisor of photography at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. 


Areas of Expertise

Select Scholarship

Book Chapter
Peres, Michael R. "Laboratory Imaging." Photography in Clinical Medicine. Ed. Paola Pasquali. Chennai, India: Springer, 2020. 341-397. Print.
Full Length Book
Peres, Michael and Patricia Cost. Snowflake Science Activity Book. first ed. Atlgen, PA: Schiffer, 2020. Print.
Peres, Michael, et al. Images from Science 3. 1st ed. Rochester, NY: RIT Press, 2019. Print.
R, Peres, Michael, et al. Laboratory Imaging and Photography. 1st ed. New York, NY: Routlege, 2016. Print.
R, Peres, Michael and Patricia Cost. Michael Photographs a Snowflake. 1st ed. Rochester, NY: Fossil Press, 2016. Print.
Invited Paper
Peres, Michael and Norman Barker. "Images from Science 3 Project." Journal of BioCommunications. (2020). Print.
Michael, Peres,. "The RIT Big Shot Thirty Three Years of Stories." Journal of BioCommunications. (2019). Web.
Peres, Michael. "Photographing Snowflakes." Phot.Net. (2014). Web.
Peres, Michael. Controlled Trauma. 2 Feb. 2018. Gallery R, Rochester NY. Installation.
Peres, Michael. Snowflakes Up Close. 3 Feb. 2017. Rochester Museum and Science Center, Rochester. Installation.
Invited Keynote/Presentation
Peres, Michael. "Its not the Destination but the Journey." BioComm 2104. Biocommunications Association. Rochester, MN. 20 Jul. 2014. Keynote Speech.
Published Book
DuBois, William, Michael Peres, and Dawn Tower DuBois. The RITBig Shot: A Commemorative Collection of Photographs 1987-2009. Rochester, NY: Rochester Institute of Technology, Open Publishing Lab, 2010. Print. É 

Currently Teaching

3 Credits
This course will investigate the creation, workflow and output of digital media files, using a variety of capture devices including digital cameras, smartphones, 2D/3D scanners, audio and video recording devices. Course content will focus on device preferences, file attributes, workflow, output, compression with consideration of data management using different media. Hands-on exercises reinforce concepts such as: file types, data compression, color management, media delivery, and distribution. Students will evaluate the influences of operator choices at each stage along the image chain. Special attention will be given to identifying and cultivating industry best practices. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to create optimized files using a variety of devices that include metadata construction.
3 Credits
This course will examine how media has evolved and how it has responded to changes in technology and social habits. Course content will cover various forms of media communication using both historical and contemporary perspectives. Topics include: trend recognition, monetization in media communications, materials, processes, audience, usability, accessibility, aesthetics, content, typography, copyright issues, and innovations in publishing. At the completion of this course, students will gain an understanding of various media structures and communication types through the analysis of audience and content.
1 - 6 Credits
This course will allow graduate students in the Media Arts and Technology program the ability to study in a specialized area with an individual faculty member. Students, with the assistance of a faculty adviser, will propose a course of study or project with clearly defined goals and outcomes. Students must obtain permission of an instructor and complete the Independent Study Permission Form to enroll. **NOTE: Student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA *
1 Credits
This course, a collaboration between RIT & Rochester Regional Health, will introduce students to the issues and methods used in contemporary surgical photography. Students will be exposed to the fundamental photographic equipment and procedures used in operating rooms including proper file management in this era of HIPAA regulations. At the end of the course, students will have visited the surgery theater at least three times with the objective of making photographs. This course can be repeated.
1 - 3 Credits
Photography independent study will provide students with the ability to study in a specialized area with an individual faculty member. Students, with the assistance of a faculty adviser will propose a course of study. Photography Independent Study students must obtain permission of an instructor and complete the Independent Study Permission Form to enroll. **Note: Students can only earn up to 6 credits of independent study towards completion of their degree**

In the News

  • September 2, 2022

    an art gallery with photos of places and landmarks on all of the walls.

    Podcast: RIT Big Shot Celebrates 35 Years 

    Intersections: The RIT Podcast, Ep. 61: It all started in 1987 with a community project, a handful of faculty, and 37 students. Now, the RIT Big Shot is a larger campus tradition than anyone anticipated. Michael Peres, Gannett Chair in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, talks with Dan Hughes, lecturer in SPAS, and Eric Kunsman, assistant professor in visual communication studies, who will lead the Big Shot into the future.

Featured Work