Fabian Wagner was born in Munich, Germany. He studied at the Northern Film School in Leeds, earning a master's degree. Starting in 2004, Wagner began working as a cinematographer, first shooting music videos and short films. In 2008, he began working regularly on television shows for BBC and ITV, and since then has been working almost exclusively for British and American film companies. His first role as a cinematographer for a TV show was for the 2008 BBC Three drama series Spooks: Code 9, for which he filmed all six episodes. Since then he has been working all across the world on various productions. His first feature film The Legend of Barney Thomson (2015) under director Robert Carlyle won the Scottish Bafta award for best movie. His work on the Sherlock episode "A Scandal in Belgravia" and the Game of Thrones episode "Hardhome" earned him two Emmy nominations in 2012 and 2015, respectively. He has also been nominated for ASC and BSC awards and has become one of the youngest members of the British Society of Cinematographers.