50 years of car photography by René Staud

2,973 cars. 104 countries. 23 cameras. 89 books. 157 Exhibitions. 4.63 million images.

What I am always asked

The question I hear most often: When did you first start taking pictures? And because there are a few such questions, I have already summarized them here.

Perhaps I was influenced by the fact that I come from an arts and crafts family: My father was a sculptor. And so I started to be interested in pictures and light at a very early age – I took one photography course after another as a schoolboy and acquired a lot of knowledge.
At the age of 12, I won my first awards and prizes in photo competitions.
The decisive moment came when I was 14: That’s when I was able to afford my first SLR camera from the money I earned doing small jobs alongside school.
And with it I accepted my first commissioned works. I took souvenir and portrait photos and set up my first black-and-white photo lab from my earnings.
So it was only logical that I did an apprenticeship in photography after school and became a portrait photographer.

Yes, now I finally have time for it!

Just the other day I had a quick look in a cupboard before I had to leave for the airport because I was missing a caption for my next book. I knew that I would find something in an old Porsche calendar.

And then there are four boxes in there labelled ‘customer bags’. These were the kind of bags that used to hold everything that belonged to an order – 35mm strips, cost estimates… Later they were called ‘Laufmappe’. I didn’t open one on purpose, otherwise I’d still be sitting in front of the cupboard.

But – yes, I do look in my archive more often now. If only to sort things out a bit – I’ve accumulated several million pictures over the decades.

And every time I look in a folder, I remember the stories behind the photos.

That’s one reason why I started this website: That I can now also tell the story behind the pictures.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)

Because I was passionate about beautiful vehicles even earlier than photography – and over time, the two passions have organically grown together.

There are photos of me as a little boy, sitting in our yard on my father’s motorbike (which was our family vehicle back then) and beaming from ear to ear.

Later, as a schoolchild, I flattened my nose against a Porsche that was parked in our neighbourhood.

Beautiful, fast cars were always my thing.

And when I thought about how I could better utilise my open-plan studio in the early 80s – we photographed a lot of furniture back then, stoves, more ‘domestic’ things – it made sense for me to bring cars into the studio.

Nobody did that back then.

Until then, cars had always been photographed outside, in the landscape.

That’s how my car photography began.

All the time. Every day. At least on the days when I’m not travelling for the studios – at exhibitions, trade fairs, rallies, events…

My two sons, Pascal and Patrick, have been running Staud Studios for several years. I no longer have anything to do with the operational business.

I now have the luxury of taking care of things that I didn’t have time for during my ‘active’ years: Putting together new books, preparing exhibitions, giving lectures – and looking after enthusiasts’ projects, such as the Car Art “Porsche Edition”.

Ein Porträt von René Staud


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