About me, artist statement / biography
Markus Hartel has been a graphic artist all his life, starting as a typesetting apprentice in Germany, growing into a prepress shop owner and later transferring his visual storytelling into photographs captured on the streets of NYC. Perhaps, the most distinctive quality in Hartel’s photographs is the contrast. There is much more to explore in his images than the play between light and shadow, or the juxtaposition between hard and soft. If you look hard enough, you will almost always find a sense of irony in his subject matter, as what compels him to ‘click’ is discovering the extraordinary among the ordinary.
Much like his work, Markus is a man of contrast. Tattooed knuckles, a mohawk and body piercings adorn a man who obviously bucks “the establishment”. His abandonment of a conventional corporate life and his reluctance to take on commercial work, stem from a personal refusal to compromise. Inspired by authenticity and story, Markus’ dedication doesn’t fit into a standard 9 to 5 cubicle and can’t be contrived by an art director for a campaign. Hartel says “I press the shutter button for myself, and not for the money. It’s not that I don’t occasionally shoot on spec… but any projects I take on must appeal to my aesthetic”.
However edgy you might presume him to be, at his core he is generous and unassuming – whether it’s with followers of his blog or young photographers looking for tips of the trade, Markus makes himself endlessly available to photography aficionados and students around the globe.
There is an apparent reverence and compassion that Hartel has for his subjects, and it clearly shines through in his work. And while he may hold disdain for corporate incompetence, he seems to celebrate the flaws of humanity that make everyday people beautiful.
If you’re interested in a print, you can find more info on my print info page, and even order prints online.
Fine art prints & other Info
- get information about unlimited and limited edition prints on my print information page
- unlimited and limited edition collector’s prints are available in the online photo gallery
- Select photographs are available for licensing and direct download, and if an image is not available for a direct download, please email me directly for image licensing
- If you’d like to hone your own photography skills, you can book a 3-hour One-on-one street photography workshop with Markus
- now, take a seat and enjoy my galleries!
Or sign up for my newsletter and get a chance to win an 8″x12″ print of your choice!
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After practicing graphic design for a decade and a half, Markus Hartel began his career in photography in 2003, coincidentally when he moved to New York City.
What is street photography? A reflection of every day life – real, unaltered impressions of public places, places that everybody visits every day, the street where you live, the parking lot of your favorite grocery store, the subway. Street photographers document the truth – take candid pictures of things that you don’t notice in your daily grind.
Street photography involves attention to detail. The photographer pays attention to scenes, moments that you only recognize subconsciously. The camera is an unobtrusive extension of the eye in any given situation. Oftentimes, street photographers take pictures they feel; the photographer happens to be there and captures the mood in a fraction of a second. He freezes a moment that you will forget in the same amount of time…
TIME (New York, USA)
Street Photography Now (Thames and Hudson)
Wings Magazine (Arik Air)
Digital Photographer (UK, Italy, France, Spain)
Manhattan Times (NYC)
Classic Motorcycle (USA)
Kodak picture of the day
Photobloggies “Best street photography blog”
Lucie awards 2006
click here to view some of my internationally published and awarded work
“Street Shots” South Seaport Museum, New York City
Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh, PA
Sign up for my newsletter and get the chance to win a free 8″x12″ fine art print of your choice!
You are a a great street photographer, your photos are full of meaning… so intense. I like very much your work. Fabrizio
wow, fantastic work, and yes, it does look like a still from a movie… its the best picture I’ve seen this year! Aaron Preston
First of I’d like to say some of your photography is truly outstanding! Carlos Javier
I think they are just fantastic. The only trouble for me would be which ones to choose… David Solo
Really wow, yowsa! I’m just writing you to thank you and say what great photography you make. Thank you again for the great photos and also for being a great and supportive friend to us. Giselle Deiaco
Your photography is outstanding… your work is simply mind blowing and I have become a fan of yours.
We are working on a project for a sporting goods company […] Your shots are wonderful, and really capture the city well. James
Keep going as it seems to me one of the greatest spots on the net for serious (B&W) photography! Michel Cojan
I’m really impressed by your photography. I love it. Hiro Ohashi
I bought a couple of your fantastic prints last month (I really like the dark black feeling). I am considering buying an ink jet printer to print my own b/w photos (I am an amateur) and I want to achieve the same quality. Matt
My name is Riccis Valladares and I am a wedding photographer. I am a big fan of your work and visit your blog often.
I love my kids and hydrant print and want to order a couple others. Jennifer
You have the best photos on the artist page. They’re breathtaking. How do you get your lighting like that?
I’d really like to buy the one featured, how much do your prints run?
Markus, the print is so gorgeous – I love it, no, I LOVE it! Valerie
I have shipped the print on Monday via USPS priority mail […]
Thanks for the info and the prompt reply. Keep up the great work. Josh
limited collector’s prints and unlimited prints (makes a great gift!) are available trough my photo gallery pages
FREE SHIPPING on all print orders, no matter where you live!
During my long career as a typesetter, graphic designer, photo retoucher and photographer I have worked for a plethora of clients, advertising agencies, creative directors, art buyers and art directors with their creative needs – including, but not limited to:
Co&Co Magazine (Germany)
East 12th Osteria
Factor Design (Germany)
General Aesthetics (Germany)
Limited 28 Brand (Germany)
Lloyd & Co.
Museum of Finance
Nutrient Water (Australia)
Ogilvy & Mather