Michael Kitchen began his interest in photography in the late-1970s, using an old box camera of his mother’s in a high school photography class. Sports photography was his interest, influenced by the famous photo by Ray Lussier of the Boston Record-American of Bobby Orr’s 1970 Stanley Cup overtime goal against St. Louis, and by the images on hockey cards. He used the Pentax ME he received one Christmas and shot photos at a few Detroit Express soccer games.
Over the years Kitchen continued his interest, shooting photos from the stands at hockey games.
In the 1991-92 and 1992-93 seasons, Kitchen was the President of the Detroit Junior Red Wings Booster Club of the Ontario Hockey League. He published the Booster Club newsletter and snapped photos at the games.
Then, in 1996-97, he photographed for Great Lakes Hockey Alliance, a Michigan-based hockey publication. Kitchen covered the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League.