Born in Halle in Germany in 1935, Elmar Ludwig began his apprenticeship as a photographer in Munich in 1951, aged 16. He got his first job with Foto Reger and subsequently spent two years as an assistant to Karl Hugo Schmölz, a well-known architecture and advertising photographer in Cologne. 1962 Ludwig was recruited as a postcard photographer by Irish publisher John Hinde Ltd. He spent the next few years travelling around the world from Britain to Australia and from Canada to the Bahamas. At the end of the 1960s he established his own studio in Munich, specializing in architecture, product and advertising photography.