Horst Schafer was born in Germany in 1932. He began photographing in 1955, joining the Dusseldorf Photo Club in 1956. Schafer emigrated to Canada in 1960 and in 1961, made his way to New York City where he worked for the Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Bernsen's International Press Service (BIPS). Between 1963 and 1974, a time known as the "Golden Age of Horse Racing," Schafer photographed for the New York (Horse) Racing Association (NYRA). In 1968, he was awarded "Outstanding Press Photographer of the Year" and has been published in numerous magazines including the New York Times, Life, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek, Town and Country, Fortune and Harper's Bazaar. Schafer returned to Germany in 1980 where he continues to capture life's magical moments on film with a 1950s aesthetic. Horst Schafer’s documentary style embodies the decisive moment in a play of light and shadow – his photographs “discover existing images, so to make the invisible visible.”
1968 Outstanding Press Photographer of the Year, The American Turf Writer's Association
1997 International Kodak Photography Award for "New York in the Sixties"
2000 International Kodak Photography Award for "Horst Schafer, Architecture"
2002 Kulturpreis der Stadt Nurnberg
2000 J. Paul Getty Museum
2000 DG-Bank, Frankfurt am Main
2005 Siemens, Erlangen
2006 Oppenheim, Koln
2007 City of Nurnberg