Martin Schoeller is a New York based photographer known for his incredibly
detailed close-up portraits. Schoeller was born in Munich, Germany, in 1968. After
receiving a passion for photography he studied the subject at Lette Verein. This was a
difficult time for him. During his time in Lette Verein, he developed his own style. He
would take photographs of strangers walking along the street. Every stranger was
different; everybody had a place to be, or a reason to be elsewhere. This showed a
range of emotions in Schoeller’s portfolio. His work was recognized and he received a
job at Berlin before emigrating to the United States in 1993.
Once he arrived in the United States, he settled in New York and worked as an
assistant for famous photographer Annie Leibovitz. Leibovitz is best known for taking
the last professional photographs of John Lennon right before his assassination.
Schoeller learned much Leibovitz; taking images that capture the subjects emotion.
Schoeller continued to work for Leibovitz for three years until he decided to
become an independent photographer in 1996. Three years later he began to contribute
photographs to the New Yorker. Entertainment Weekly , The Outsider , Rolling Stone ,
GQ , and Esquire are the other magazines Schoeller worked for over the next ten years.
In 2000, Schoeller won his first award; LIFE Magazine Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for
Best New Talent. He then got married to graphic designer Helene Rutman.
His most renowned photographs are portraits of celebrities from Hollywood, the
music industry, politics, and other popular sources. The contents of each of his
photographs are detailed, close up, headshots of these celebrities. Recently in 2016, he
contributed headshots of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for LIFE Magazine.
Schoeller also began making book collections of these celebrity images for market.
Schoeller made his first collection, Close-Up: Portraits 1998-2005, which was
published by TeNeues in 2005. Schoeller also has been lending his photographs to
museums for solo exhibitions since 2005. Now his work is widespread across the United
States, Europe, and social media. His work also permanently hangs in the Smithsonian
Institution’s National Portrait Gallery. Schoeller currently lives in Manhattan where he
continues taking new portraits for magazines and stand alone pieces of art on a regular
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