Markus Wolf, a top-class photographer, whether it’s food, weddings, or architectural photography.
Why does the alias “Artist-X” represent his path in life so perfectly?
We met Markus Wolf at the kitchen party at star chef Andi Widmann in Zang last year, where we welcomed the numerous guests, connoisseurs and gourmets who gathered there presented our extensive knife creations.
Among all the guests, we soon noticed a friendly gentleman who was very calm and unobtrusive, pointing his camera at us, among other things. It was inevitable that we ended up talking to him during the happy and culinary evening.
Markus Wolf is a professional photographer who has accompanied Andi Widmann on his way to star-winning top chef for a long time.
Markus Wolf has made a similar career through a lot of enthusiasm, dedication and commitment and is now one of the most sought-after photographers in the Stuttgart area and the Eastern Alb.
But how did this path begin, what finally brought Markus to take such convincing pictures in this quality today.
An exciting and straightforward development
Let’s start with childhood. His grandfather was the creative one in the family. There was an easel in the garden shed and it smelled of paint. A mysterious exciting place.
When grandpa was painting in front of the easel, Markus naturally sat down. He also wanted to paint like grandpa.
What appealed to him most as a child was the exact depiction of what he saw. He develops a feeling for colors, light and shadow. An elementary feeling to work creatively.
Abstraction, stirring colours, experimenting and waiting for chance is not his thing. He wants to put things on paper as he sees them.
In the 1980s, Markus took up the airbrush. Airbrush painting experienced a boom at this time. Illustrations, bonnets, motorcycle tanks and advertising posters.
Interested in depicting reality, the airbrush was the right tool for him. Complete color transitions, as can be seen in nature, or brightness gradients are difficult to depict with a brush.
The airbrush lays thin layers of paint on top of each other in such a way that the brightness and color tone are correct.
He is a creative and a perfectionist of the digital world.
Markus is a perfectionist. The success of his work proves him right. He designs posters and pictures for organizers and music labels. In the 1990s, Markus discovered the computer as a design option.
The first graphic works are still being made on a Commodore C64. The poor resolution is no fun and limited it. The Commodore Amiga finally offered him a new world of color variety.
Programs like Deluxe Paint on the Amiga were replaced by Corel Draw, Illustrator and Photoshop on a PC and made it possible to visualize pixel and vector graphics and fonts in all sizes.
He fumbled his way into digital work and became so perfect and confident that he was soon offering workshops in this completely new imaging technique.
Then, it was only a small step, he had the first digital camera in his hand. A revelation!
His SONY DSC-R1 still had a fixed lens and a relatively low image resolution. ; But the digital revolution was in full swing.
He won’t let go of his later Canon SLR camera. Taking photos becomes an obsession. The childhood dream of a detailed digital and naturalistic image is finally fulfilled.
Now it’s a matter of feeling and intuition. The right perspective, the right detail, the perfect light and the unique moment. Craftsmanship becomes the basis for captivatingly beautiful images.
A shy wedding photographer by chance and opportunity
Surprisingly, his brother’s brother-in-law asks him to take some nice pictures at his wedding. But Markus Wolf first wonders if he can do it at all.
A typical question from a perfectionist with high demands on craftsmanship. His definition of compelling imagery goes well beyond craft.
Capturing moments. Capture emotions, underline characters, convey mood and much more.
The initial fear of the firstwedding shoot was certainly unfounded. If you see the wedding pictures on his homepage today, they are completely convincing and inspiring.
What Markus has discovered for himself – as a photographer he is a quiet, unobtrusive observer. Although he acts quite inconspicuously, he is close to intimate moments and tender gestures with his camera.
Here’s a shy look or an open, refreshing laugh. This also includes melancholy or wistfulness. The bride’s father hands over the daughter.
Markus says a wedding is an overwhelming whirlpool of emotion, contemplation and dancing all in one moment. Staged pictures, given poses are not for him.
His second passion is perfectly presented food.
Just as his enthusiasm for composing pictures was founded in his youth, another of his earliest passions is that of good food.
He describes food with the same zest and enthusiasm as wedding photography. He speaks immediately of the simultaneity of the different impressions.
The smell, the picture in its colors, the decoration of the plate. The consistency of the surfaces is sharply grilled, delicately glazed. There is foamy, chaotic, linearly ordered, embellished with flowers.
With all this, he has not said a word about the expected taste pleasure. At dinner he eats as a photographer.
Markus is not a couch potato. Rather eat somewhere with good friends. Being sociable, having fun together.
It doesn’t take long for him to trace the origins of all these delicious dishes. Where do the raw materials come from, how are they cut and cooked.
He starts cooking himself. That’s creative. This also becomes a passion.
A vacation in the south brought Markus Wolf to food photography.
He kept walking past the bad billboards with even worse pictures of the menu on offer.
He didn’t hesitate. He speaks to an innkeeper and offers himself as a food photographer. The result was more than satisfactory for everyone. A first success and an enthusiastic host and cook.
Back in Germany, as so often, I ate at Andi Widmann. He says himself that he simply asked if he could photograph Andi’s creations, just for fun and for free. More out of interest and passion.
Andi is participating. It quickly becomes clear that the attitude to work, to craftsmanship and the demand for results unite the two.
Markus comes often, puts wonderfully arranged food in the limelight, does a barbecue report.
Andi Widmann and Markus Wolf are on their way to the top. Andi gets his first Michelin star.
Markus photographs for magazines such as Feinschmecker, Falstaff, gourmet and the renowned association of star chefs JRE (Jeunes Restaurateurs Europe). In 2019, a photo assignment followed in Stuttgart, at the Intergastra, the IKA Culinary Olympics.
Markus has proven his skills as a photographer. However, he keeps reinventing himself. If something becomes a trend, it gets boring for Markus. “Standing out of the crowd.”, he tries to write on his flag.
The genre-spanning nature of his work is admirable. Whether food photography, weddings, product photography or architectural photography. Markus Wolf delivers.
He told me that initially he went by the name Artist-X. The X stands for the variable and thus precisely for the breadth and diversity of his skills.
Markus Wolf stages the Typemyknife knives
Markus agreed to take some great photos for us with our laser-designed knives. We are super excited and full of anticipation.
In the next blog post we will publish the pictures and talk to him about the making of food photography.