Martin Schoeller

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Martin Schoeller
Born Martin Schoeller
(1968-03-12) March 12, 1968 (age 47)
Munich, Germany
Nationality German
Education Lette Verein in Berlin
International Center of Photography, New York

Martin Schoeller (born March 12, 1968) is a New York-based photographer whose style of "hyper-detailed close ups" is distinguished by similar treatment of all subjects whether they are celebrities or unknown. His most recognizable work are his portraits, shot with similar lighting, backdrop, and tone. His work appears in "National Geographic Magazine", The New Yorker, "New York Time Magazine", Time, GQ, and Vogue.[1] He has been a staff photographer at The New Yorker since 1999.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Munich, Germany on March 12, 1968. In his early years he was influenced by photographers August Sander, Bernd Becher, and Hilla Becher.[3] Schoeller studied photography at Lette Verein in Berlin.


Schoeller started his career in Germany,[2] and came to New York in 1993 and worked as an assistant for Annie Leibovitz from 1993 to 1996, here he developed his "big head" portrait technique, a term coined by him, of his style of "hyper-detailed close ups", which later gave him worldwide acclaim.[4][5] He left in 1996 to pursue his freelancing career. Soon his street portraits started getting published in Rolling Stone, GQ, Esquire, Entertainment Weekly, and W. In 1999, Schoeller joined Richard Avedon, as a contributing portrait photographer to The New Yorker since then.[2][3]

Over the years, his large-scale portraits have been exhibited at various galleries.[3] A book of his portraits was published by teNeues in 2005: "Close Up: Portraits 1998-2005", consisting of 75 tight portraits, put together from over 300 shoots with various celebrities.[5] Another, "Female Bodybuilders," was published by Pond Press in 2008. Stern published a portfolio of his work, "Fotographie Portfolio #54", also in 2008. His work is in the Permanent Collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.[1]

He shot the controversial cover of the May 21, 2012 issue of Time magazine about attachment parenting.[6][7][8] In his latest book "Identical: Portraits of Twins" again by teNeues he examines 40 sets of identical twins and multiples in his distinctive close-up style.

Personal life[edit]

Married to Helen Rutman Schoeller, a graphic designer, in 2000. He currently lives and works in Manhattan, New York.[2][3]


  • 1998-2010 American Photography Photo Annual
  • 1999-2010 Communication Arts Photo Annual
  • 2001-2010 Photo District News Photo Annual
  • 2010 Best Entertainment & Celebrity cover of the 2010 ASME Cover - GQ/Clint Eastwood cover
  • 2010 National Magazine Awards: Photo Portfolio, American Society of Magazine Editors – “The Hadza” National Geographic
  • 2010 Medal Finalist, Society of Publication Designers – “The Actress” The New Yorker
  • 2010 Medal Finalist, Society of Publication Designers – “The Hadza” National Geographic
  • 2010 Medal Finalist, Society of Publication Designers – “Men of the Year Portfolio” GQ
  • 2009 Medal Finalist, Society of Publication Designers – “Marc Jacobs Doesn’t Give a F***” GQ
  • 2009 National Magazine Awards: Best in Entertainment/Celebrity Covers, American Society of Magazine Editors –“How to Be a Man” Issue Esquire
  • 2008 Best Portrait Award, American Photo Images of the Year
  • 2008 National Magazine Awards: Photojournalism, American Society of Magazine Editors – “The Interpreter” The New Yorker
  • 2008 Cover Finalist, Society of Publication Designers –“American Gangster” Entertainment Weekly
  • 2008 Medal Finalist, Society of Publication Designers – “George Clooney” Entertainment Weekly
  • 2008 Merit Award, Society of Publication Designers – “Chill Will” Premiere Magazine
  • 2008 Merit Award: Entire Issue, Society of Publication Designers – GQ
  • 2006 Society of Publication Designers, Silver Medal "The Originals" GQ
  • 2006 Best Celebrity Cover 2nd Place, Magazine Publishers of America – “Steve Carell” Premiere Magazine
  • 2004 Gold Medal, Society of Publication Designers – “Tigers of the Snow: Three Generations of Great Climbing Sherpas” Outside Magazine
  • 2004 National Magazine Awards: Photo Portfolio/Essay, American Society of Magazine Editors – “Tigers of the Snow: Three Generations of Great Climbing Sherpas” Outside Magazine
  • 2002 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum group exhibition, "Skin: Surface, Substance, and Design"
  • 2002 Silver Medal, Society of Publication Designers –“Hip Hop Portfolio” The New Yorker
  • 2001 Gold Medal, Society of Publication Designers – “Sports Portfolio” The New Yorker
  • 2000 Silver Medal, Society of Publication Designers –“Cheerleaders” Rolling Stone
  • 2000 Best New Talent, LIFE Magazine Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards

Solo Exhibitions[edit]

  • 2010 - 2011 National Portrait Gallery, Australia
  • 2010 Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York ("Female Bodybuilders") [9]
  • 2009 Curatorial Assistance, traveling exhibition
  • 2008 Hasted Hunt, New York [10]
  • 2007 - 2008 Ace Gallery Beverly Hills [11]
  • 2007 Griffin Museum of Photography, Boston
  • 2007 Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston
  • 2006 Hasted Hunt, New York
  • 2006 Gallery Wouter Van Leeuwen, Amsterdam
  • 2006 Brancolini Grimaldi Contemporary Art, Florence
  • 2005 Forma International Center of Photography, Milan
  • 2005 Camerawork, Berlin

Noted Projects[edit]

Photographing the Pirahã tribe in northwestern Brazil for The New Yorker [12] Photographing the Hadza tribe in Tanzania for National Geographic [13]

Schoeller's photo books[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Feature Photography/Martin Schoeller". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved Feb 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Contributors: Martib Schoeller". The New Yorker. Retrieved Feb 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Photographers: Martin Schoeller". National Geographic. Retrieved Feb 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Schoeller puts stars, strangers on same platform". The Daily Eastern News. January 31, 2013. Retrieved Feb 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Kochman, Michael (Jun 13, 2005). "Face Time". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved Feb 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page (2012-05-21). "TIME Magazine Cover: Are You Mom Enough? - May 21, 2012 - Parenting - Mother - Babies - Children - U.S". Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  7. ^ iPad iPhone Android TIME TV Populist The Page (2012-05-10). "Breast-Feeding Photos: TIME Cover on Attachment Parenting - LightBox". Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  8. ^ Haughney, Christine (2012-05-20). "Time and Newsweek Magazine Covers Catch Eyes and Clicks". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ Martin Schoeller Hasted Kraeutler Gallery
  10. ^ Wilson M Scanlan: VerveLabs Web Design - "Martin Schoeller,Martin Schoeller Gallery - New York City". Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  11. ^ "Martin Schoeller". Ace Gallery. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  12. ^ "A Tribe Apart". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2013-02-15. 
  13. ^ "The Hadza". National Geographic. Retrieved 2009-12-11. 

External links[edit]