A life in
Car Photography

I have created the Magicflash®  to bring car photography into the studio – and have hosted all the world’s manufacturers in the process.


My picture of the month:
All Time Hero – Mercedes Benz 300 SLR (“Uhlenhaut Coupé”) from 1955. The most expensive car in the world – although it never started in a race and was almost forgotten. More about the most expensive car in the world >>


Summer 2022

Up and Coming

René Staud in der Lounge der Staud Studios
My best birthday present this year: That the shoots for the “Porsche Legends” are starting – my new book about the winning cars from Zuffenhausen. It will be published by Delius Klasing in the fall. For the new edition of my Aston Martin book (to be published in October 2022 by teNeues), I have been visiting collectors the world over in search of the most beautiful and iconic models. And in May, after a two-year break, I was at the Riva meeting in Saint-Tropez, the photo location par excellence. The journey I have also connected there again with a few local appointments… great locations you can never have enough ready.
René Staud in der Lounge der Staud Studios

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.

Visit my blog to see what I’m working on now

Private Shoot

The perfect gift for a collector – A photo shoot at Staud Studios

Car collectors often love having their expensive vehicles photographed. Dozens of aficionados have brought their “sweethearts” to my studio to portray them in their best light. Please contact me if you are interested a private shooting.
Der Dünensprung auf Furteventura

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

The breakthrough

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.

Die Staud Studios in Leonberg

»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.«

Das Album über die Staud Studios

Staud Studios - a world of experience in itself

The actual studio spaces with my MagicFlash. ® , meeting rooms, creative spaces, stations for image processing, cafeteria, museum area and bar – right down to showers and guest beds. Everything is there. Customers can watch shooting in the studio at the top of the “skywalk”.

Maybach meets Christo

New York, New York

»Beforehand, a work of art is just an idea – and after the fact, it is merely history

When Christo created his installation in Central Park, there was a no-fly zone over the city of New York. I was nevertheless able to photograph his legendary artwork from above, and I alone. These pictures in my archive are unique and cannot be found anywhere else. Christo and Daimler, one of the sponsors, asked me to photograph everything around the project: parties, visitors, and of course, cars.

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

Private Shoot

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 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.

Das Jaguar Buch, fotografiert von René Staud

The Jaguar Book

Highlights from racing history interspersed with movie appearances – an homage to the 60th birthday of the E-Type.

Porsche 911

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.

Das Bugatti-Buch, fotografiert von René Staud

Bugatti

The history of this cult Italian brand, told in 300 unique photographs, with texts in both German and English.

»When we are shooting on location, we have often rented out our studios to legendary photographers such as Reinhard Wolf and Rankin.«

Ein Foto aus dem Buch Milesstones von René Staud

YOUR OWn PERSONAL PICTURE

Collectors' items

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:

You can find more books, images, and other items in my E-Shop

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News, Behind the scenes, and the making-off for my friends

Now that I am less involved with the day-to-day operations at Staud Studios, I finally have time for all my projects: books, exhibitions, presentations, and more. Sign up here for my monthly emails about what I’m working on now.