7 German Photographers Only Recognized By Experts

7 German Photographers Only Recognized By Experts

Avatar of Jimena A

By: Jimena A

March 10, 2017

Photography 7 German Photographers Only Recognized By Experts
Avatar of Jimena A

By: Jimena A

March 10, 2017

When we're passionate about something, we wish to become the best. To do so, we need teachers who will inspire us in our path to extraordinary things. While this happens in most of the arts, it's especially true in photography.

In the case of German photography, there's not too much to tell. It all began with the creation of a machine that was thought to compete with paintings. In the early twentieth century, photography became the main tool of fascist propaganda. However, the use it was given has left evidence of many historic events that changed humanity forever. It wasn't until the seventies when it started to be used for artistic means. 

Even if its history is short, German photography has transcended through the lens of many talented artists that have shown the legacy of this country to the world. Here is a list of some of the most outstanding German photographers. Hopefully they will inspire you to improve your techniques on your journey to becoming the best.

1. Hilla and Bernd Becher

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This German couple met while they were studying painting at the University of Düsseldorf. They are considered the parents of contemporary photography. Their work began with pictures of the disappearance of industrial architecture.

Their black and white photos show their fascination for buildings with similar architecture. For over fifty years, they have traveled throughout Germany, Belgium, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take pictures of abandoned industrial plants and have a record of historical structures.

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2. Heinrich Hoffmann

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Thanks to this photographer's work, we have evidence of what happened during World War II. In 1920 he joined the German Workers' Party, and he worked as Adolf Hitler's personal photographer from 1923 to 1944. He also served in the Bavarian Army as a military photographer during the First World War.

Hitler and Hoffmann were very close, which allowed Hoffmann to write many books about the Führer's life. While he worked with Hitler, this photographer took more than 2,000 photographs of Germany's leader, making him one of the most photographed people of the twentieth century. Hoffmann's work was used for both official and propagandistic purposes, and nowadays it's considered a first-hand testimony of the Nazi regime.

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3. Hans-Peter Feldmann
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Although he doesn't consider himself an artist, his craft has simple and conceptual aesthetics that captivate many. Feldmann plays with tradition and creates collections of classic portraits and nudes with painted black crosses, red noses, and cross-eyed characters.

He doesn't date or sign his pieces so they can speak for themselves. Feldmann believes art shouldn't have an owner, as well as that its value lies in the emotions and thoughts it awakens.

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4. Ellen von Unwerth

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Ellen von Unwerth is a photographer and director specialized in female eroticism. She has made fashion, commercial, and editorial photography, but before embracing this profession, she was a model. She became widely known through her photos of German model Claudia Schiffer. Her works can be found in the most famous fashion magazines and on the albums of artists such as Dido, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Rihanna.

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5. Helmut Newton

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His relationship with photography started when he was only 12 years old. By that time he bought his first camera with his savings. Later on, he became the apprentice of the German photographer Yva, who was a fashion and portrait expert. Helmut was truly ahead of his time and devoted his work to erotic photography. His career in the fashion industry started when he entered Vogue Australia; however, it took ten years for them to publish his work. Afterwards, his career took off when he began working for Yves Saint Laurent, giving him the chance to photograph many celebrities of the time. He was one of the first photographers to break the rules, and  has inspired many artists from different disciplines.

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6. Jurgen Vollmer, Klaus Voormann, and Astrid Kirchherr

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These German artists were the official photographers –and also good friends– of The Beatles. This relationship helped both partiess succeed in their first stages. Astrid Kirchherr was the partner of Stuart Sutcliffe, the official bass player of the band while they were known as "The Silver Beatles."

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7. Candida Höfer

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Finally, this representative of the Düsseldorf School of Photography began her career as a newspaper portrait photographer. Later on, she studied film in the same school and took lessons with professor Becher, who soon made her one of his closest pupils, since she was also focused on architecture photography.

If you're interested in photography we recommend: 
How To Take A Great Picture Without Asking Her To Strip 

Photographers Who Will Show You The Diversity Of The World.


El Cultural

Translated by María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards