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The Questionnaire : Ellen von Unwerth by Carole Schmitz


Ellen von Unwerth : Free and Inspiring

Ellen von Unwerth is undoubtedly one of the most popular photographers on the fashion planet. Her universe is very sensual, and sexual, but never vulgar. As a visionary, she knows how to recognize raw talent and was thus at the origin of the careers of many models such as Claudia Schiffer. Despite her strong personality, she also knows how to hide behind her camera and allow the women she photographs to lose all inhibition, to take control and show themselves to the maximum of their seduction.

With her extraordinary personality, Ellen von Unwerth is an inspiring woman in every way for whom self-esteem is necessary to achieve independence and self-confidence. Having been a model herself for ten years, she knows both sides of the lens, an experience that is the foundation of her career. It was the campaign for Guess with Claudia Schiffer, which earned her worldwide recognition in 1989.

She has a photographic eye and her own way of immortalizing a situation, a moment, a beautiful light, an expression or a movement. Fascinated by the human being, her images tell stories inspired by real life.

Witness of her time, the child who dreamed of being a princess, readily admits loving, when it comes to her work as a photographer, to move between past, present and future.


Your first photographic click?

Ellen von Unwerth : My first click was in Kenya of people in a market


The photographer who inspires you?

Ellen von Unwerth : Jaques Henri Lartigue and Helmut Newton


The image you would have liked to make?

Ellen von Unwerth : Marilyn Monroe singing for the troups


The one that moved you the most?

Ellen von Unwerth : My daughter swinging of a tree with long skinny legs of a 10 year old.


And the one who made you angry?

Ellen von Unwerth : When people platantly copy me


The quality necessary to be a good photographer ?

Ellen von Unwerth : An eye, a brain, diplomacy, rhythm, feeling


The secret of the perfect image, if it exists?

Ellen von Unwerth : What means imperfection for one can mean perfection for others. I like when my pictures are blurry


Your early camera?

Ellen von Unwerth : Minolta


The one you use actually ?

Ellen von Unwerth : All kinds even Iphone


Your favorite drug?

Ellen von Unwerth : Pssst!


Your greatest quality?

Ellen von Unwerth : Always excited and passionate


An image to illustrate a new bank note?

Ellen von Unwerth : I could see my iconic picture of Claudia Schiffer for Guess on a bank note 🙂


The job that you would not have liked to do ?

Ellen von Unwerth : Wow so many, I am so lucky and happy that I found what I do and love so much. Definitely would not like to check if a chicken is male or female like in the movie Minari


Your greatest extravagance ?

Ellen von Unwerth : Champagne and shoes


Your biggest regret?

Ellen von Unwerth : No regrets, don’t have time for that


Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or snapchat?

Ellen von Unwerth : Instagram


Color or B&W?

Ellen von Unwerth : Black and White


Daylight or Studio light?

Ellen von Unwerth :  Both, it is nice to play and experiment


If God existed would you ask him to pose for you, or would you take a selfie with him?

Ellen von Unwerth : Haha, I would like him to pose for me, floating on a cloud but why not sneak in a selfie or a boomerang.


The image that represents for you the current state of the world?

Ellen von Unwerth : Lets think of tomorrow and of an image full of freedom and joy.


Website :

Instagram : ellenvonumwerth


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