Michael Dalder

Michael Dalder

Munich, Germany
Offenbach am Main, Germany
“In photography, we have the great gift of being eyewitnesses. We have to transmit what we see.”


I typically cover sports, politics and features.

One Shot

. MUNICH, Germany. REUTERS/Michael Dalder
A baby gorilla named Kajolu suckles from its mother Baghira in their enclosure at Munich's Hellabrunn zoo.
“In the world we are living in, we are swamped with images of dead people and war. This is a picture, by contrast, that makes you feel comfortable.”


My parents have some old books with black and white pictures of me in them, but I don’t have an actual first memory of photography.

When I started out, I wanted to become a cameraman for television news. I had to learn photography, and I just went over entirely to the photography side.

I learnt to take pictures through doing an apprenticeship in the theory and practice of photography as a medium of communication. I also worked as a sports photographer for my local newspaper on the weekend.

My first assignment for Reuters happened in 1996 and it was about the famous track athlete Florence Griffith Joyner (or Flo-Jo, as she was called) donating her shoes to a museum in Offenbach. The assignment was actually kind of boring and very difficult to photograph. It was my first assignment for Reuters, and I was quite nervous.

The Golcuk earthquake that struck Turkey in 1999 left a big mark on me. It was my first assignment when I was really confronted with crisis - the death toll was around 17,000. Something else that makes an impact on me is the silence before the 100-meters final at the Olympics.

The assignments that excite me most are the ones that involve lots of emotions, whether they are about sports, politics, crisis, or just human beings in general. One example was when former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak said he would stand down as Labour Party leader. That was very emotional. But often, feelings are most visible in sports and war photography.

The first question I ask when I take pictures is - what is the story? I’m really thinking about the best way to tell people what is happening. In photography, we have the great gift of being eyewitnesses. We have to transmit what we see.

I respect my parents for having allowed me to find my own way without putting pressure on me.

Behind the Scenes

. Munich, Germany
Reuters photographer Michael Dalder takes a picture of Chelsea's Didier Drogba after the team's victory at the 2012 Champions League final in Munich.
Oberstdorf, Germany
Dalder covers a ski-jumping tournament, in Oberstdorf, Germany, in 2011.