Karsten Staiger

WhiteWall Ambassador Profile

  • SPECIALTIES: Fine Art, Portrait, Music, and Documentary Photography

  • COUNTRY: Germany

Like countless others before him, photographer, artist, and filmmaker Karsten Staiger fell in love with New York City the moment he arrived. Seduced by the beauty of NYC’s skyline, Staiger has since adventured and scaled more than 100 buildings, risking his life to capture the City’s magnetic personality through photography and film. Born in Germany, Staiger launched his career at the forefront of the digital revolution when it first emerged in the 1990s, achieving success as an artist and commercial photographer for luxury brands and major corporations. With Staiger regularly retreating to the rooftops for creative refuge, his growing fascination with the City’s dynamic skyline would eventually evolve into a primary pursuit for discovering those hidden, unexplored angles of the city – views unseen from the street-level. Already a master of complex lighting and technology, his obsession with the extreme juxtaposition between light, weather patterns and the textured cityscape revealed at dizzying heights ultimately led him to shift his lens towards the City. His accomplished body of work has attracted collaborations with notable New Yorkers, among them John Varvatos, Misty Copeland, and Living Colour. In April 2016, the German Consulate General celebrated New York Love Story, his ode to the city he now calls home. Shortly thereafter he launched his From New Heights digital installation at 1 World Trade Center at the John Varvatos opening reception, marking the first time an artist has exhibited inside the Oculus. He resides on the board of the nonprofit multimedia performance organization "The Way of The Rain".

Portrait of Karsten Staiger.
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Skyline of New York - KARSTEN STAIGER - AUGUST 15, 2012.

How did you start your career as a photographer?

My journey started with my graphic design studies in Stuttgart. At that time, the degree programs still had little to do with the computer-based possibilities known today. Rather, artistic/creative skills were needed back then.

Buildings - KARSTEN STAIGER - OCTOBER 15, 2015 | ONE.

What are your sources of inspiration for your picture ideas?

My career started in New York in the 1990s. At that time, I successfully worked as an artist and commercial photographer for luxury brands and large corporations. In product photography, the photographed objects are provided, however, many new opportunities to experiment have emerged thanks to the fast-paced technological development. While I shot my first portraits with friends, my models have become more and more famous personalities, such as dancers or actors, over time. Four years ago I joined the rock band Foreigner on their “40th Anniversary Tour” in Europe. We have a close cooperation up to present and I love the interaction with interesting people in front of the camera.

KARSTEN STAIGER - Misty Copeland.

Manhatten Bridge - KARSTEN STAIGER - MAY 13, 2013.

Which camera do you use?

I began my career with one of the first digital medium format cameras, a Leaf DCB rear part on a Mamiya RZ housing. I upgraded my equipment later. During the first ten years I mainly worked as a still life and commercial photographer from my studio in Chelsea. My project New York Love Story was photographed completely with the medium format. When I am traveling with the band, I film with a Sony a7r III, GoPor or also with a DJI Drone. In other occasions I mostly photograph with a Canon 5D Mark IV.

Aerial view of Central Park - KARSTEN STAIGER - JULY 22, 2006.

You have already lived in New York as a German photographer for a while. What has made you choose the city that never sleeps as your home?

I was in my early 20s and it was love at first sight! New York simply has a tremendous appeal. There is nothing you won’t find there – a city full of options and opportunities, but also with many challenges. From the very beginning, I felt vibrant, inspired, and full of energy to progress on a daily basis.

Skyline of New York - KARSTEN STAIGER - NOVEMBER 30, 2017.

Where can you be found when you are not behind a camera?

Since last year, I have spent lots of time in nature. Most of the time, however, I work on a variety of projects. It also means spending lots of time in front of a computer.


Top of the Empire State Building - KARSTEN STAIGER - MARCH 6, 2013.

Why WhiteWall?

In 2013, I entrusted WhiteWall with production for the first time while I was in Germany. As I had many questions in the beginning, this was the start of a great collaboration with the Store in Düsseldorf. And when I met WhiteWall once again at the PhotoPlus exhibition in New York, I was absolutely sure that I wanted them to continue producing my works. I can always rely on their quality and customer service. In addition, the Made-in-Germany claim stands for a very special kind of Premium quality in my opinion.

Product Recommendation: Acrylic ultraHD Metallic Print

My favorite is the Metallic ultraHD photo print with gallery frame, especially for larger prints. For smaller works, I love the solid wood frame with passe-partout, printed on Hahnemühle Photo Rag.

Discover more product recommendations from Karsten Staiger

Acrylic ultraHD Metallic Print
  • Double resolution for your metallic photo

  • Bright parts of your photo have a metallic sheen under 1/16 in. (2 mm) of acrylic glass

from $24.95
Solid Wood ArtBox
  • 3D Effect

  • Easy to hang: All you need is two nails or screws (depending on the size)

  • Displayed on a gallery ledge: Elegant and impressive

from $49.95
Close up of a woman has her portrait taken on a chest of drawers in a Solid Wood Frame With Passe-Partout.
Solid Wood Frame With Passe-Partout
  • A classic look: Directs focus to your photo

  • Choose from various frames and photo mat colors

from $99.95

New York Love Story - Interview with Karsten Staiger

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