Max J. Raulff was born in Berlin, Germany.
Being the son of a journalist and passionate amateur photographer, he started to experiment with his fathers old Nikons with about five years. With the family constantly moving throughout Germany as well as to the United States and back, and travelling whenever possible, Raulff was able to put his new passion to use on a variety of subjects early on. However, the family’s vast art library also provided a source of inspiration for Raulff.
One of his earliest memories is legendary street photographers book „The Americans“ as well as the works of Walker Evans. German street and documentary photographer Barbara Klemm, a close friend of the family, was another important influence.
During his last high school years he took up his first digital camera and started to work first side hustles as an event and concert photographer. It was after his high school years that he himself started to travel extensively, mostly alone, with a bag pack, and mostly without any concrete plans. It was during this time that he remembered his initial love for street and documentary photography and began to develop his very own style and approach to the subject, following the self-chosen credo „inside, looking out“ – meaning that he’d try, however difficult and time-consuming it may be, to become as close, as intimate to his subjects as possible – essentially becoming a part of them and their environment and thus documenting it from the inside, looking out.
Following no traditional photographers education, Raulff took on a study of art history, in which he put his main focus points both on the Italian and Spanish old master painters as well as on 20th century photography from the Americas and from Russia and French as well as American Film noir and Neo noir.
All of these influences and visual impressions helped him to furthermore create his own, distinct style and find his voice.
Interestingly enough, Raulff more or less evaded the subject of colour photography until some years ago, when he, after becoming engaged with South Italian born engineer and photographer Caterina Binetti, moved to Italy altogether, after already having spent one year in Rome some years before the couple met.
Until today, Raulff uses both analogue and digital technique, calling a versatile collection of cameras from different times his own.
Currently he lives in Pisa with his fiancée and his daughter, who was born in 2021.
Max J. Raulff is internationally published and has won a number of awards including the mono-awards and the Black & White Photo awards.
He is currently represented by Germany-based art gallery KuneArts.
Requests, prints and information via: