Michael discovered photography in 2006 when he relocated to Hua Hin, Thailand from San Antonio, TX to study International Relations at Webster University. After two years of studying in Southeast Asia, Michael received an academic scholarship to continue his education in The Netherlands where he practiced street photography. Michael graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2010 and later founded Humans of San Antonio, a photojournalism project inspired by “Humans of New York” to promote the visual story of downtown San Antonio.  Michael also studied under Rick Loomis at the Mountain Workshops in 2015, a pulitzer prize award winning photojournalist of the L.A Times.

Michael is currently staff photographer at Centro San Antonio and contributes to Red Bull, The Rivard Report, and the City of San Antonio Department of Arts and Culture. Michael's photography has appeared in TEDx San Antonio, Kens 5, San Antonio Express News, Univision 41, The Lake Front, Culture Co-Op of NBC Universal, Skyline Magazine, and has featured work with The Texas Observer. Michael is recipient of the Awesome SA Community Award, and has given photography talks at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Our Lady of the Lake University, Pecha Kucha San Antonio, and UTSA. Michael also teaches a photography workshop once a year at the Henry Ford Academy Alameda School of Art and Design in downtown San Antonio, TX. Michael's work is inspired by Sebastiao Salgado. 

Michael's work is currently being published by Trinity University Press. 

mcirlos@gmail.com | 210-908-1912

Select Exhibitions:  

  • Carver Community Cultural Center | January 2014
  •  K23 Gallery | September 2014
  •  Lullwood Gallery | September 2014
  •  Southwest School of Art | January 2015
  •  FOTOSEPTIEMBRE High Wire Arts Gallery |  September 2015  
  •  AP Art Gallery | January 2016                                       


  • Centro San Antonio 
  • NBC Universal 
  • Red Bull 
  • Heroes Sports 
  • The Rivard Report
  • City of San Antonio

Press and Acknowledgments

KENS 5 | December 2014

      Interview by Bailey McGowan – The man behind Humans of San Antonio

Local Community News | August 2013

      Interview by Gianna Rendon – ‘Humans of San Antonio’ chronicles downtown life

Sombrilla – University of Texas at San Antonio Magazine | 2015 

      Interview by Michelle Mondo – Building a Sense of Community

San Antonio Express-News | June 10, 2014

      Interview by René A. Guzman – Everyday San Antonians, extraordinary photos

San Antonio Express-News | May 30, 2014

      Interview in The Downtown Blog by Benjamin Olivio – Humans of S.A. captures the street, its inhabitants 

The Paisano – University of Texas at San Antonio | October 2013

      Interview by Rebecca Conjejo – Connecting the City One Photo at a Time

The Post Planner | 2014

      Feature by Aaron Lee – 17 “Humans of” Facebook Pages You Should Like & Follow

The Rivard Report | November 2013

      Interview by Iris Dimmick – Human Awareness Day

Trinity University, Skyline Magazine | Spring 2016



City of San Antonio OPEN POP UP | December 2014 & 2015

Selected Artist

Awesome SA Award | July 2014

      Selected Artist

Dreamweek San Antonio | January 2015 & 2016

Selected Artist

City of SA DCCD Artist of the Month | October 2015

     Selected Artist

The University of Texas at San Antonio | 2014

      Selected Presenter in photojournalism 

Our Lady of the Lake University | 2014

      Presenter in photojournalism 

Briscoe Western Art Museum | 2013

      Presenter in photojournalism 

PechaKucha San Antonio Volume 15 | September 2014  

      Presenter in photojournalism

Mountain Workshops – School of Photojournalism | October 2015

      Accepted Participant

Humans of San Antonio Book | March 2017

Author of photojournalism

Choose SA | 2016

Selected Cultural Ambassador by City of San Antonio 2016 for SXSW 2016