Leonhard Foeger

Leonhard Foeger

Vienna, Austria
Ried, Austria
“Don’t be nervous, be patient, and just shoot the pictures the way you want them to be.”


I cover news, sport and features.

One Shot

. KITZBUEHEL, Austria. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
A combination of six pictures shows Switzerland's Daniel Albrecht crashing on the Streif slope during the last practice for the Alpine Skiing World Cup downhill race.
“Daniel Albrecht was skiing down at around 120 km per hour, jumped and crashed horribly on his back just in front of my lens. We all thought he must be dead, but three weeks later he woke up from a coma and after two years he was fully recovered and started to race again. The incident shows that if you do something with passion, you will never stop doing it.”


Some of my earliest memories of photography are of my dad taking pictures with his Hasselblad 55c/m camera. He took his time composing the picture he had in mind, pressed the shutter button at the right moment and got a great picture. It was fascinating to watch him shoot, and I never lost the fascination for photography I felt then.

When I was a child my father gave me this 126 camera, a black box with a lens, and a film that came in a cartridge with 12 frames. On our vacation in the Austrian Alps I started shooting pictures, and one week later I got 12 muzzy images back from the laboratory. After that, I wanted to be a photographer.

I learnt to develop film and black and white prints by myself, and then started a two-year college course in photography in 1987. We had to learn all about studio photography, but my interests changed and I knew I wanted to work as a photojournalist.

One day the Austrian newspaper Der Standard called and asked if I would like to shoot an Eric Burdon concert in Vienna, since their photographer had fallen sick. I got really nervous on the phone when I said yes. I had to shoot three songs, develop the films and print some black and white pictures in my bathroom, then bring it to the paper so it could be published the next day. In the morning I bought a copy and very proudly showed it to all my friends.

The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was my first time covering a visit to Croatia by the pope. Hundreds of thousands of people attended and there was such a peaceful atmosphere that you could really feel the Holy Spirit. I never ever had that feeling again.

I don’t have a special audience in mind while shooting pictures, but I do like the idea that people somehow participate in an event just by looking at my shots.

My biggest lessons have been: don’t be nervous, be patient, and just shoot the pictures the way you want them to be.

I respect my children for their patience with their father. Growing up as the child of a photographer means sometimes not having him around during important moments because he is on assignment.

Being a photographer is my life’s passion. I want to shoot good pictures that capture a moment which will never happen again, and let people participate in it.

Behind the Scenes

Ried im Innkreis, Austria
Leonhard Foeger takes pictures of a bull as a two-year-old.
Laaben, Austria. Ronald Zak
Foeger is pictured with his face spattered with mud after a wild boar run in Laaben, Austria.