Uwe Duettmann is an award-winning advertising and editorial photographer known for his automotive, sports, lifestyle, and fashion imagery. He has shot athletes for campaigns for Red Bull and Nike, cinematic fashion stories for magazines such as Gala, naturalistic beauty campaigns for clients like Nivea, and a host of ads—on location and in the studio—for all the big automakers, including Mercedes, BMW, Mini Cooper, Volkswagen, Ford, and Audi. “I don’t think about whether I’m shooting landscapes or people or still life,” he says. “It's more about how I can express myself in different ways.”
No matter the project, Duettmann remains the consummate collaborator. His ultra-easygoing manner reveals no hint of ego, yet he maintains the confidence of someone who knows he can get the job done. “All I need is good direction,” says Uwe, whose work has been honored by everyone from the London International Advertising Awards and the Art Directors Club in Germany to the AOP.
In 2016, Uwe embarked on a new personal project inspired by Burning Man, the famed desert festival that brings out the bizarre and outlandishly creative in people. “For a long time, I’ve wanted to visit Burning Man,” he says. “I love the location—the desert, the light there, the mood, the vastness, and how everything stands out against the landscape and becomes important. I’m also drawn to the culture of the festival, the idea of creating an open society where everybody accepts each other. And from a creative point of view, Burning Man is interesting to me because all of these magnificent people build incredible objects and art and machines just for the event.” His photos are at once surreal and dreamlike, as if they were stills from some lost Fellini movie. “The pictures I’ve seen of Burning Man are more documentary in style, and I wasn’t going for that with my project,” he says. “I wanted to show the Burning Man mood.”