Peter Lindbergh was born in November 1944 in Lissa, Germany and spent his childhood in Duisburg where he then worked as a window dresser for Karstadt and Horten Department stores.
He started by studying Free Painting at the College of Art in Krefeld before abandoning his studies to travel Switzerland, France, Spain and Morocco. Two years later he came back to Düsseldorf and prepared his first sculpture exhibition at the Galerie Denise René/Hans Mayer. He turned to photography in 1971.
He shot his first series of pictures when he turned 30. In order to gain time and experience he started assisting Hans Lux that then became his friend and mentor and formed him for over 2 years.
He moved to Paris in 1978 where his work was first published in Stern Magazine. From there he started working for the Italian, German, French, and American editions of Vogue Magazine, as well as for the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Allure and Rolling Stone.
In 1987 he received the “Highest Achievement Award for Photography” in New York. Three years later he was awarded the Grand Prix and the Gold-Medal at the International festivals of Photography in Budapest and Barcelona.
In 1992 he signed a four year contract with the American edition of Harper’s Bazaar whilst working on ad campaigns at the same time for Giorgio Armani, Jil Sander, Prada, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Comme des Garçons. That same year he also started working on documentaries, producing his first one “Models – The film“ with Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour and Cindy Crawford.
He took many portraits of celebrities amongst which Mick Jagger, Charlotte Rampling, Nastassja Kinski, Tina Turner, John Travolta, Madonna, Sharon Stone and John Malkovich. In 1996 he published the book “Ten Women” composed exclusively of black and white portraits.
He loves women, and often takes portraits of them without any make up or artifice, as for the series he made of actress Catherine Deneuve for Vogue Magazine. He is also said to find his inspiration in the work of Fritz Lang and Jarmusch, Lartigue and Blumenfeld.
In 1995 he was named “Best International Photographer” and was awarded the Fashion Award two years later in Paris.
In 1996 he worked on Tina Turner’s music video “Missing You” that he shot in Los Angeles and on his first assignment for the Pirelli Calendar – an assignment he will also fulfill in 2002 -.That same year he also became a honorary member of the Art Directors Club in Germany.
In 1999 he worked on his second documentary, a 30 minutes drama called “Inner Voices” and again in 2001 on “Pina Bausch — Der Fensterputzer” a short documentary on German dancer and Choreographer Pina Bausch. That same year he was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in Paris.
In 2007 he worked with Jeanne Moreau on an experimental feature called “Everywhere at once” which World’s premiere was shown at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.