A life in
I created the Magicflash® to bring car photography into the studio – and have hosted all the world’s manufacturers in the process.
Pictures and their stories
CAR ART – THE PORSCHE EDITION
The summer of 2023 marks 75 years of Porsche sportscars. To celebrate this jubilee, I have assembled a car art collection of the most unique images in my car photography portfolio, which now stretches back five decades.
Ferdinand Porsche had long been mulling over producing a sportscar, and in 1939, he developed the prototype for the Porsche 356
“Now that I’m officially retired, I’m finally getting around to cleaning up my archive of millions of images – and I’m constantly coming across very special models, extraordinary shoots, wild stories – a sampling of which I’ll share with you here in loose succession.”
My photographs have been featured in more than one hundred books. You can order many of these from my e-shop, delivered to your door in no time at all, even with a signature or personal inscription from me.
Sportscar of the century
The Mercedes Coffee Table Book
On the 70th anniversary of the Mercedes SL, down to the day, we have published a new book featuring 125 of the most outstanding versions of this legendary car. This beautiful volume distills decades of work and represents the most extensive project of my entire career.
The Jaguar Book
Highlights from racing history interspersed with movie appearances – an homage to the 60th birthday of the E-Type.
The Porsche 911 Book
One of the most successful car books of the decade, now in a new format – over one hundred photographs and illustrations of the main models in the 911 family.
Art of Bugatti
The history of this cult Italian brand, told in 300 unique photographs, with texts in both German and English.
The perfect gift for a collector – A photo shoot at Staud Studios
the Staud Studios
Jumping over the dunes
This was the shot that changed everything. 50 years ago, Fuerteventura was just an island in the Atlantic Ocean near the coast of Africa. Then came a visionary who built the first hotels, and my picture of a beach buggy, which was featured in countless travel brochures. That’s how I got my start as a car photographer.
Monolith in Water
Lake Murten, Switzerland. Aston Martin V8 Vantage, October 2002
»I invented the Magicflash®, an ultra-large softbox to bring car photography into the studio.«
I created the Magicflash® because I wanted to photograph large, highly reflective objects – such as cars – as design objects using a breathtaking lighting source. For that, I needed a softbox like the ones I had used earlier in my career to photograph jewelry and writing instruments: smooth, uniform light surfaces with a high flash output and clearly controlled color temperature that were easy to handle and adjust – only bigger. Much bigger. I ended up with a softbox nine meters long and one and a half meters wide: the Magicflash®, which revolutionized my business.
BRINGING CAR PHOTOGRAPHY INTO THE STUDIO
I had always wondered, why are cars always photographed outside, somewhere in a city or out in a landscape? Couldn’t one photograph them in a studio, like any other design object? That was how, in the 1980s, Staud Studios came to be.
The idea of photographing cars in a studio was groundbreaking. Within two years, we had to start working in shifts, because our studios were booked literally around the clock. Almost every car manufacturer in the world has brought their vehicles to be photographed in my studios in Leonberg since we opened our doors.
»There are times where I have bought 20,000 DM of paint a month and hired four painters to work a night shift. They would come every night to repaint the studios afresh for the next day.«
STAUD STUDIOS – A WORLD AND AN EXPERIENCE UNTO ITSELF
The studio spaces include my MagicFlash®, meeting rooms, creative spaces, image processing areas, cafeteria, museum area, and bar – not to mention guestrooms and a shower! We have everything you may need. Clients can watch the shooting in the studio from the “Skywalk” overhead.
Maybach meets Christo
New York, New York
»Beforehand, a work of art is just an idea – and after the fact, it is merely history.«
I have also photographed Christo’s projects at Lago d’Iseo and more recently, in Paris. What fascinates me the most about his work is the sense of time: no matter how old you are, you still have to find a window on a given weekend, during a given week to be there. Beforehand, a work of art is just an idea – and after the fact, it is merely history.
You can see more of my work spanning five decades in my Showroom
A special gift for a collector
An individual session with René Staud as the ultimate artwork. Numerous classic car aficionados have asked me to photograph their collections, and this has given their vehicles a new form of artistic expression. Interested? Click here for more information
My favorite pictures
The stories behind my pictures are usually fairly brief, but the shoots were often sensational! Below is a brief selection of some of my favorite pictures and the stories about how they were made.
You can find more books, pictures and offers on my blog
»When we are shooting on location, we have often rented out our studios to legendary photographers such as Reinhard Wolf and Rankin.«
YOUR OWn PERSONAL PICTURE
Do you prefer a classic or a collector’s car for your home? If you are looking for a beautiful car in the form of a signed and framed artist’s print to hang at home or in your office, you’ve come to the right place:
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News, insights and making-ofs for all my friends
Now that I am no longer involved in the day-to-day operations at Staud Studios, I finally have time for all my personal projects: books, exhibitions, lectures and more. When you sign up for my VIP list, you’ll receive all my latest news, once a month.