About

Vita

 Photo: Moritz Reich

Photo: Moritz Reich

Karsten Thormaehlen is a photographer, creative director and editor. Based in Frankfurt am Main.

Thormaehlen’s work has been featured in Guardian, Stern, Geo, Focus, Süd-deutsche Zeitung, FAZ, The Huffington Post and Slanted. Thormaehlen has had solo & group exhibitions at art gallery and museums, including Weltkulturen Museum and MMK3, Frankfurt, Design Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, London, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, Museo Fotografica Contemporaneo, Milan and Barlachhalle K, Hamburg. His photographs are part of the permanent collection at the Institute of Regenerative Medicine (IREM) at the University of Zurich (UZH), Switzerland, and are included in numerous private collections.  

Born and raised in Rhineland-Palatinate, Thormaehlen studied communication design at the University of Applied Sciences Wiesbaden, were he also has taught photography as an assistant professor. He has lived for almost five years in New York, where he worked as an art director for luxury and cosmetic brands.

Since 2003 he runs a photo studio, which is specialized in corporate, architecture and still life photography. Besides commercial work and his personal projects he does editorial work for a number of newspaper and magazine clients.

Karsten Thormaehlen's personal projects have been published in numerous books and travelled as exhibitions and art installations through Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan. They have been adorned with major awards in the advertising and photography community, from the Cannes Lions to the ADC New York as well as prestigious photo awards like the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, Prix de la Photographie Paris Px3, International Color Awards or Black & White Spider Awards.

Karsten Thormaehlen is a professional member of BFF (Professional Association of Free Photographers and Film Designers e.V.), Freelens e. V. and was appointed in 2015 as a full member of the DGPh (German Society for Photography e.V.).

 


Karsten Thormaehlen’s portraits of centenarians are highly suitable for questioning our public conception of old age.
— Prof. Dr. Andreas Kruse


Clients (Selection)

accente
Accadent
AEG
Air Liquide
Aktion Mensch
A. Lange & Söhne
Annayake
Arcadeon Hotel
Artdeco
AXA PPP
Berenberg
Birkenstock
BMW
BNP Paribas
Bogner
Bosch
BSH
BuzziSpace
BVR
Carmignac
Carpe Diem
Commerz Real
Coop Sapporo
Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund
DHL
DKMS
Doove Care Groep
Dornbracht
Douglas
Dürr
ElderONE
ElringKlinger
Engie
Evobus
Fuchs Petrolub
GHD
GIZ
Griesson-Debeukelaer
Habion
Halston
Heidelberger
Henning Larsen
Hochland
IREM

Jenaer Glas
Jette Joop
Johnson & Johnson
JPMorgan Chase
Lancaster
Lidl
L'Oréal
Lufthansa WorldShop
Messe Frankfurt
Mini
MorphoSys
Neurimmune
Nivea
Nobilis
Novartis
Olymp
Opel
Peneder
Phase One
Porsche Design
Prescriptives
René Lezard
Rewe
Rinecker Klinik
Roche
Rudolf Schupp
Samsung
Schneider Kreuznach
Sebapharma
Securitas
Semcon
Siemens
Spaarne Gasthuis
Stihl
Swiss Perfection
Symrise
Tokushu Tokai
Union Investment
Universität Zürich
Value & Risk
Villeroy & Boch
Volvo
WHO
Zwiesel 1872


The Essence by Porsche Design, 20" TV-commercial for the launch of the first men's fragrance from Porsche Design (2008). Client: Parfums Azzaro / Porsche Design Fragrances, Paris; Agency: Klaus E. Küster, Frankfurt a. M.; Director / DoP: Oliver Maier, Munich; Co-Director: Karsten Thormaehlen, Wiesbaden; Post Production: Arri Digital; Music: Martin Stock, Munich


Agencies

Keizo Matsuki, Osaka
Klaus E. Küster, Frankfurt
L&Co, London
Leo Burnett, Frankfurt
Lowe Lintas, Hamburg
May Kommunikation
RESpublica, Munich
Partners + Napier, Rochester NY
Publicis
Publicis Health
Red Cell, Düsseldorf
Scheufele Hesse Eigler
Scholz & Friends, Berlin
Select World
Spoon Göteborg
Spoon Stockholm
Sudler & Hennessy
Thjnk, Hamburg
Traffic Productions
Vidi-Visio, Frankfurt
wow united, Cologne
Ziel Werbeagentur, Munich

Arthen Kommunikation
Art Nouveau, Taunusstein
Basic-Unit, Mülheim a. d. R.
C3 Stuttgart
Cheil Germany, Frankfurt
Colenso BBDO, Auckland
Contec, Bochum
DDB Berlin
De Overkant Ontwerpers
3st kommunikation, Mainz
DSB&K, Frankfurt
en andere ontwerpen
Fischer-Appelt Hamburg
FleishmanHillard, Frankfurt
Frank & Frei, Wiesbaden
Fuenfwerken, Wiesbaden
G.V.K., Lüneburg
Hauk, Munich
Havas, Paris
Hiromura Design Office, Tokyo
Interbrand, Zurich
k+d raab, Mainz


Editorial 

AD (D, RUS)
Allianz Global Investors
Bayard Media
Beobachter
Bild der Wissenschaft
Biss
Du
Elle
Focus
Focus Spezial
Frankfurter Allgemeine
Geo
Geo kompakt
Glamour
GQ
Hörzu
Hörzu Wissen
Jolie

Journal Frankfurt
Lisa
Madame
Max
Maxim
Menschen
Monopol
Playboy
Die Presse
Stern
Stylist UK
Süddeutsche Zeitung
SZ-Magazin
Ten Magazine
Tush
Vogue (D, I, RUS)
Die Welt
Die Zeit


We’re all part of a society which is by definition a collection of different individuals, including older and younger people.
— Karsten Thormaehlen

Selected solo exhibitions









Von Herzen jung, Kardiologische Gemeinschaftspraxis Prof Dr. Mohr-Kahaly & Partner, Wiesbaden

Von Null auf Hundert, Haus zwischen den Wieken, Wohn- und Pflegepark GmbH, Ostrhauderfehn

Von Null auf Hundert, Hospizverein Lebensbrücke, Flörsheim am Main

Die Kunst des Alter(n)s, caritas Main-Taunus, Haus St. Martin am Autoberg, Hattersheim am Main

Mit hundert hat man noch Träume, Schlaues Haus, Karl von Ossietzky Universität, Oldenburg

Aktiv in die Zukunft, BAGSO Fachtagung, Dominikanerkloster, Frankfurt am Main


Selected group exhibitions
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grey is the New Pink – Momentaufnahmen des Alterns, Gruppenausstellungen u. a. mit Ramy Al-Asheq, Karsten Thormaehlen, Ishola Akpo, Osborne Macharia, Naama Attias und Jake Verzosa, Weltkulturen Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 26. Oktober 2018 - 1. September 2019, Eröffnung am 25. Oktober 2018, 19 Uhr 

Great Exhibition of the North, group exhibition, The Witham, Witham UK, June 22 - September 9, 2018

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London;

Age Does Not Matter, Bargehouse, OXO Tower Wharf, London

Tokyo Type Directors Club, Ginza Graphic Gallery, Tokyo

BFF Wild Card, Triennale der Photographie, Galerie Westwerk, Hamburg


While for some their eyes might communicate a weary wisdom at having lived through wars, revolutions, and personal tragedies, there is still the overwhelming sense of joy to be alive.
— BuzzFeed

Shortlists

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAM Preis für Architektur in Deutschland 2019, Finalist für Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, Henning Larsen Architects

13th Annual Black & White Spider Awards 2018, Nominee in category Professional Portrait for Donkey Foal

Finland Circuit International Digital Exhibition 2018, accepted for 10th Carelia Salon, 1st Turku Salon, 4th Hyvinkaa Salon and 2nd Oulu Salon in the categories Color and Photojournalism

International Color Awards 2018, Nominee in category Wildlife for White Donkeys, Nominee in category Portrait for Maria

International Color Awards 2017, Nominee in category Professional Portrait for Emma and Sonoko

Lürzer's Archive, selected for 200 Best Ad photographers 2018/19

12th Annual Black & White Spider Awards 2017, Nominee for Emma II

Lürzer's Archive, selected for 200 Best Ad photographers 2016/17

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016, Selection, for Susannah, at age 116, Brooklyn 2015

Deutscher Alterspreis 2013 der Robert Bosch Stiftung, nominiert für Fotoprojekt Silver Heroes

Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2012, nominiert für Mit hundert hat man noch Träume (Kehrer, Heidelberg 2011)

Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011, Selection, for Erika E., at age 101, Berlin 2011

ADC Germany 2011, nominiert für Reife Leistung by Horst Güntheroth, Fotos Karsten Thormaehlen (stern Ausg. 13/2010)

Best of News Design 2010, selected for article Mit hundert hat man noch Träume (Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung)

Designpreis Deutschland, nominiert für Geschäftsbericht MorphoSys AG (Concept & Design: 3st kommunikation)

Designpreis Deutschland, nominiert für Geschäftsbericht Volkswagen AG (Concept & Design: 3st kommunikation)


Getting older is a thing of beauty in these portraits of centenarians around the world.
— The Huffington Post

Awards

13th Annual Black & White Spider Awards, Honorable Mention in category Professional People for Folded Hands

A'Design Award & Competition 2018, Iron Award for exhibition Pioneers of the Future

Px3 Prix de la Photographie Paris 2017, Bronze for series 1899, Honorable mention for photo book Aging Gracefully (Chronicle, San Francisco 2017)

International Color Awards 2017, Honorable Mention in category portrait for Emma, Nominee in category people for The Kiss, Nominee in category portrait for Sonoko

Px3 Prix de la Photographie Paris 2016, Honorable Mention for Toyohashi

BoB Best of Business to Business Award 2016, Gold für Die 100-Jährigen
kommen
(Client: Bayerische Versicherung; Agency: Ziel Kommunikation; AD: Jessica Bleich)

D&AD 2015, Wood Pencil for A cream that gives you wrinkles
(Client: New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation / Skinfood;
Agency: Colenso BBDO, CD: Nick Worthington, AD: Kristal Knight)

DFA Design for Asia Awards 2015, Merit for Happy at 100
(Client: Tokushu Tokai, Agency: Hiromura Design Office, CD: Masaaki Hiromura, Keizo Matsuki, AD: Abe Kota)

DSA Design Space Award 2015, for Happy at Hundred (Client: Tokushu Tokai, Agency: Hiromura Design Office, CD: Masaaki Hiromura, Keizo Matsuki, AD: Abe Kota)

Lucie Awards 2015, Winner of Print Advertising campaign of the year, dedicated to the photographer, for A cream that gives you wrinkles (Client: New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation / Skinfood; Agency: Colenso BBDO, CD: Nick Worthington, AD: Kristal Knight)

Clio Awards 2015, Silver for A cream that gives you wrinkles (Client: New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation / Skinfood; Agency: Colenso BBDO, CD: Nick Worthington, AD: Kristal Knight)

Cannes Lions 2015, Gold for press campaign A cream that gives you wrinkles( Client: New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation / Skinfood;
Agency: Colenso BBDO, CD: Nick Worthington, AD: Kristal Knight)

iF communication design award, Winner for hausInvest anniversary book (Concept & Design: 3st kommunikation, AD: Sandra Benz)

iF communication design award, Winner for Stihl annual report (Concept & Design: 3st kommunikation)

Roses Media Awards 2011, 1st price for The big picture, Guardian Weekend magazine

Publizistikpreis Senioren 2011, Lobende Erwähnung, für Fotoprojekt Jahrhundertmensch

iF communication design award, Winner for Symrise annual report (Concept & Design: 3st kommunikation)

red dot design award, winner for annual report MorphoSys AG (Concept & Design: 3st kommunikation)

iF communication design award, Winner for MorphoSys Annual Report (Concept & Design: 3st kommunikation)

Lead Awards 2005, Auszeichnung Anzeige des Jahres für L'Oréal Vogue Promotion

Internationale Kalenderschau 2004, Silber für Kalender Smart Living in Frankfurt

Jugend reist – und lernt Europa kennen 1986, 1. Preis für Fotoreportage Urwelt Island


Secrets to ageing gracefully by the world’s most stylish women over 100
— The Telegraph