Born in Kiel, Germany, Thomas Hoeffgen fell in love with photography while working on a ship full of juvenile delinquents. The job was part of his mandatory national civic service (performed in lieu of military service), and as the boat sailed around the Canary Islands Hoeffgen livened up the situation by shooting portraits of the kids, capturing spontaneous personal moments as well as the passing scenery. This was the beginning of Hoeffgen’s pictorial relationship with movement, foreshadowing his enduring ability to record fleeting moments in a reduced, minimalistic, and cinematic style.
After finishing his civic service, he moved to Spain at the age of twenty to assist the Mallorca-based art photographer Elizabeth Schäufler. Even before completing photography school, Thomas began shooting for prestigious sports clients such as Burton, Oxbow, and O’Neill, travelling all over the world to photograph advertising campaigns and capture their athletes on camera.
This early work brought him into contact with fashion and advertising clients such as Timberland, Renault, Diesel, Maybelline, Escada, Laurel, Adidas, Microsoft, BMW, Swatch, Audi, Red Bull, and Camel Active, Tommy Hilfiger, Hilton, Reebok, all of whom were attracted by Thomas’s laidback, carefree style andby his energy and graphic simplicity.
His work has been published in magazines such as Art, Blend, British Journal of Photography, El Pais, FAZ, GQ, Stern, SZ-Magazin, Spex, Instyle, Glamour, Elle, Marie Claire, PDN, Anglomania, Wallpaper, Zoom, NZZ, Playboy, and Outside Magazine.
He has exhibited in Hamburg (Dormoolen), Duesseldorf (NRW-Forum), Munich (Goldberg Studio), Salem (Schloss Salem), Grasten (Atelier Corn Benniksgaard), Lisbon (Canon Gallery), And most recenty in Berlin’s Ausweartiges Amt and Nuernberg’s Kuenstlerhaus, both in 2010, “Traummeanner” Deichtorhallen 2011, Pavlov´s Dog Gallery Berlin 2011, Annroy Gallery London 2011,Mulimedia Art Museum (Moscau) Beauty in the 21st Century 2013
Awards for „African Arenas“ : 2011 International Photography Award in the category photo books. Special mention at the 2011 LEAD Awards in Germany (LEAD awards exhibit at the Deichtorhallen, Hamburg).
Book : Thomas Hoeffgen’s African Arenas was published in 2010 by Hatje Cantz (edited by Nadine Barth).
He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn, New York.