Gerd Ludwig Born in Alsfeld, Germany, Gerd Ludwig studied with Professor Otto Steinert at the Folkwang University of the Arts (Folkwangschule) in Essen, Germany, and graduated in 1972. The following year he co-founded VISUM, Germany’s first photographer-owned agency, and soon began working for publications such as Geo, Stern, Spiegel, Fortune, Time, and Life. In 1984 he re-located to New York, and while continuing to photograph for major international publications and advertising campaigns, signed on as a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine in the early 1990's. His focus on environmental issues, and on the socio-economic changes following the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc resulted in his book and exhibit, Broken Empire: After the Fall of the USSR, a ten-year retrospective published by National Geographic in 2001 in USA, Germany and Korea. His ongoing coverage of post Soviet Russia has garnered his distinction as being the world’s foremost color photographer documenting the region.


Now based in Los Angeles, Gerd Ludwig photographs primarily for National Geographic Magazine, occasionally shoots advertising, lectures at universities, teaches photographic workshops internationally and exhibits his photographs in galleries and museums around the world. He is a Canon Explorer of Light and is represented by Institute for Artist Management. He has won numerous photographic awards, including the 2006 Lucie Award for International Photographer of the Year.