Los Angeles, CA, United States
Gerd Ludwig was born in Alsfeld, Germany. He studied photography for five years with Professor Otto Steinert at the Folkwangschule (now Folkwang University of the Arts), graduating in 1972 with a degree in Photo Design from the University of Essen. The following year, he co-founded VISUM, Germany’s first photographer-owned photo agency. In 1975, he moved to Hamburg and began working for Geo, Stern, Spiegel, Zeit-Magazin, Time, and Life, as well as photographing advertising campaigns.
In 1984, Gerd re-located to New York and continued to photograph for major international publications. In the early 1990s, he signed on as a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine, focusing on environmental issues, and the social changes in Germany and Eastern Europe. This work resulted in the publication of his book, Broken Empire: After the Fall of the USSR, a ten-year retrospective published by National Geographic in 2001. 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 is represented by the exclusive INSTITUTE for Artist Management. While he continues to work primarily for National Geographic Magazine, he photographs personal projects; exhibits in museums, galleries and festivals, such as the Perpignan Visa pour L’Image; lectures at universities; and conducts workshops internationally. Gerd is a veteran of the renowned A Day in the Life book series, occasionally shoots advertising, and has won numerous photographic awards, including the IPA’s 2006 Lucie Award for International Photographer of the Year and the Dr. Erich Salomon Prize from the German Society of Photography in 2014.