Selected Works

Born in 1958, has made a name for himself in various branches of photography. As an advertising photographer, the Munich native started working for international companies in the 1980s, and he was a pioneer in analogue compositing with his use of multiple exposures.

But photography can be so much more than technical skill and a joy in experimentation. Building on his intense interest in his subject matter, his deeply personal view of the world, and his special way of seeing and self-expression, he has developed an equally unique and compelling visual language. This particularly characterizes the independent artistic work he has been creating since 2009 in places such as Ghana, Tanzania, and Kenya.

With his iconic wildlife portraits, Joachim Schmeisser has gained widespread acclaim, receiving the prestigious Hasselblad Master Award for his work in 2012. Several books of his photography have been issued by renowned publishing houses.

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His deep interest in and his unique view of the world are what contribute to the profound impact of Joachim Schmeisser’s work. His photographs are always difficult to describe because they transcend the familiar and depict that which was once hidden, making it tangible. Joachim Schmeisser is world famous for his iconic images of Africa’s endangered wildlife. To him, animals are our equals with singular personalities. When we contemplate his images: we have a strong, empathetic connection with them and recognize ourselves in them. Timelessness and intimacy are embedded in his photographs. The concept of the sublime becomes palpable here. We realize that we are witnessing something magnificent.

These images, their phenomenal atmosphere, their use of light and shadows, are hard to describe in words. The sublime is timeless, yet it demands that we develop a sensitivity to the subtle as well as a grandeur far beyond any conventional sense of beauty – this is what Joachim Schmeisser’s photographs are all about.

He describes his work as “metaphysically experiencing the sublime.” The resulting photographs project a sense of never-ending space but not with people but these magnificant animals. Joachim Schmeisser shows us these animals as beings with individual personalities: their beauty and dignity but also their vulnerability. Their irretrievable disappearence would destroy the delicate fabric of life on our planet. The combination of his epic panoramas of animals in dramatic landscapes and the aesthetics of early b/w portraits are brimming with an unmistakable compositional power as well as an unmatched aesthetic. Not least because of this unique visual language, his photographic work stands out from other artists in this genre.

“I want my photographs to touch people emotionally, make them think, and draw attention to this precarious situation. I’m trying to sharpen the clouded view we have of our complex and fragile natural world,” – Joachim Schmeisser.

His photographs are among the most sought-after works in this genre worldwide.