Thomas Hoepker

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Höpker (2009)

Thomas Hoepker (German: Thomas Höpker; born 10 June 1936) is a German photographer and member of Magnum Photos. He is known for stylish color photo features. He also documented the 9/11 World Trade Center destruction.[1] Hoepker originally made a name for himself in the 1960s as a photojournalist with a desire to photograph human conditions.[2]

Life and work[edit]

Hoepker was born in Munich, Germany. He first began taking pictures when he was 16 and received an old 9x12 glass plate camera from his grandfather. He developed his prints in his family's kitchen and bathroom, and began to earn a little money by selling pictures to friends and classmates. Hoepker studied art history and archaeology from 1956 to 1959 in Göttingen, Germany, where he learned about understanding images and composition. While in school he continued to photograph and sell images to help finance his education.[3]

From 1960 to 1963 he worked as a photographer for Münchner Illustrierte and Kristall, reporting from around the world. Then in 1964 he began working as a photojournalist for Stern. In the 1970s he also worked as a cameraman for German TV, making documentary films. In 1976 he and his wife, journalist Eva Windmoeller, relocated to New York City as correspondents for Stern. From 1978 to 1981 he was director of photography for American Geo. From 1987 to 1989 Hoepker was based in Hamburg, working as art director for Stern.[4]

Magnum Photos first began distributing Hoepker's photographs in 1964. He became a full member in 1989. He served as Magnum President from 2003 to 2006.[5]

For much of his career Hoepker used Leica cameras. In the 1970s he began to also use single-lens reflex cameras alongside his Leica, using Leicas for wide angle shots and Nikon or Canon cameras with zoom lenses. In 2002 he began using digital SLRs.[6]

Today, Hoepker lives in New York City with his second wife Christine Kruchen, with whom he produces TV documentaries.[citation needed]


  • Jugend in dieser Zeit, Steingrüben, Germany, 1957
  • Finnland, Terra Magica, Germany, 1960
  • Lebendiges Kiel, Presseamt der Stadt Kiel, Germany, 1963
  • Yatun papa. Father of the Indians. Dr. Theodor Binder, Kosmos, Germany, 1963
  • Horst Janssen, artist’s portraits, Galerie Brockstedt, Germany, 1967
  • Die Iren und ihre Lieder, (The Irish and their songs), Germany, 1974
  • Berliner Wände, C. Hanser, Germany, 1976
  • Heinz Mack, Expedition in künstliche Gärten. Art in Desert and Ice, Sternbuch, Germany, 1977
  • Vienna, Time/Life books, Holland, 1978
  • Thomas Höpker (I Grandi Fotografi), Rizzoli, Italy, 1983
  • Die New York-Story, GEO Buch, Germany, 1983
  • Now! Überdosis New York/ HA Schult., Germany, 1984
  • Der Wahn vom Weltreich: Germany’s former Colonies, Sternbuch, Germany, 1984
  • Ansichten.Fotos von 1960 bis 1985, Braus, Heidelberg, Germany, 1985
  • Leben in der DDR. Life in East Germany, Sternbuch, Germany, 1985
  • Amerika: History of the discovery from Florida to Canada, Germany, 1986
  • HA Schult, New York ist Berlin, Germany, 1986
  • New Yorker: 50 unusual portraits, Stemmle, Schaffhausen, Germany, 1987
  • Rome, Hofmann & Campe, Germany, 1988
  • HA Schult, Fetisch Auto, Germany, 1989
  • Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, Philip-Morris books, Germany, 1991
  • Return of the Maya: Guatemala. A Tale of Survival, Henry Holt, USA, 1998. ISBN 978-1-899235-81-0
  • Thomas Hoepker, Photographien 1955-2005, Schirmer & Mosel, Germany, 2005. ISBN 978-3-8296-0219-8
  • Champ, Berlin: Peperoni, 2012. ISBN 978-3941825338
  • Thomas Hoepker, New York, teNeues, Germany, 2013. ISBN 978-3-8327-9712-6
  • Heartland. Berlin: Peperoni, 2013. ISBN 9783941825451
  • Wonderlust teNeues; Multilingual edition, 2014. ISBN 978-3832798529
  • Big Champ. Berlin: Peperoni, 2015.


  • The Village Arabati (1973)
  • Death in a Cornfield (1998)
  • Robinson Crusoe Island (2000)
  • Easter Island (2003)
  • Ice-cold Splendor (2005)


  • 1967: 3rd Place Award for Photo Stories, World Press Photo, Amsterdam[7]
  • 1977: 1st Place Award for Art and Sciences, World Press Photo, Amsterdam[8]
  • Leica Hall of Fame Induction, Leica Awards[9]


  • Kunst und Gewerbe Museum, Hamburg, Germany, 1965
  • Rizzoli Gallery, New York and Rizzoli Gallery, Washington D.C., 1976
  • Retrospective, 25 cities in Germany, 1985–1987
  • The Maya Kunsthalle Cologne, Cologne, Germany, 1994
  • Retrospective, Claus Tebbe Gallery, Cologne, Germany, 1995
  • Photographien 1955-2005, Photomuseum, Munich, Germany, 2006
  • Heartland, Leica Gallery Prague, Prague, Germany, 2014[10]
  • Ali and Beyond, Bildhalle Museum, Zürich, Switzerland, 2015[11]


  1. ^ NORAPOOMPIPAT, APIPAR. "The Hovering Eye". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 22 January 2019.
  2. ^ Eu, Geoffrey. "Thomas Hoepker". Business Times. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Interview with Hewlett-Packard-HP".
  4. ^ "Magnum Photos Home".
  5. ^ "Interview: Thomas Hoepker on 60 Years of Photojournalism". American Photo Magazine. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  6. ^ "Leica M8 Experience".
  7. ^ "1967 Thomas Hoepker GNS3-CF". World Press Photo.
  8. ^ "1977 Thomas Hoepker AE1". World Press Photo Organization.
  9. ^ "Leica Hall of Fame". Leica.
  10. ^ "Thomas Hoepker Heartland". Leica Gallery Prague. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Thomas Hoepker - Ali and Beyond". Bildhalle Museum. Retrieved 11 February 2020.

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