Michael Somoroff, the son of the eminent commercial photographer Ben Somoroff, was born in New York City in 1957. Michael studied art and photography at the New School for Social Research and assisted his father in his studio, on the set, on location and in the darkroom. In October 1979 the first exhibition of Somoroff's photography was held at The International Center of Photography in New York City under the personal supervision of Cornell Capa launching young Somoroff's career. In 1978, at the age of twenty-one, he opened his own photography studio and shortly thereafter began working for virtually every major magazine in New York and Europe.
As a student of the legendary art director Alexey Brodovitch, Ben Somoroff introduced Michael at an early age to Brodovitchʼs revolutionary philosophy, which influenced a generation of photographers, artists and designers including Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer, Lillian Bassman, Henry Wolf and Milton Glaser, encouraging him to make unexpected images and push the boundaries of conventional ways of seeing. Brodovitch urged his students to "Show me something I haven't seen before.", thus creating an exciting period of experimentation and innovation in media of all kinds. His influence remains a dominant force, even today, in all areas of cultural production.