German born Wolfgang Held has been working as Director of Photography in New York City since the mid 1990s. He went on the road with Sacha Baron Cohen as DP for his movie Brüno, and won an Emmy in 2008 for Best Cinematography on the PBS show Carrier.
The camera work on his first narrative feature, Ripe, (1996), was singled out by The New York Times critic Stephen Holden for “the same penetrating vision of adolescence found in the photographs of Nan Goldin and Sally Mann.”
Wolfgang Held has since photographed over twenty narrative feature films, including Floating (1998), for which he was awarded the Best Cinematography prize at the New England Film Festival, The Tic Code (2000) by director Gary Winick, starring Gregory Hines and Polly Draper, and Rob Morrow’s directorial debut Maze, (2002), starring Academy Award nominee Laura Linney.
Disappearances, directed by Jay Craven and starring Kris Kristofferson, won Best Cinematography at the 2007 Indianapolis International Film Festival, and the black comedy horror film Teeth, by director Mitchell Lichtenstein, was a surprise hit at Sundance 2007.
Wolfgang Held has also photographed many outstanding documentaries. These include Wigstock The Movie (1998) directed by Barry Shils, Children Underground, directed by Edet Belzberg, which was an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature in 2001, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004) by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, Mad Hot Ballroom (partial photography, 2005), directed by Marilyn Agrelo, and Crazy Love (2007), directed by Dan Klores.
More recently Held has shot the soon to be released to feature film Sophie and the Rising Sun directed by Maggie Greenwald and the upcoming O.G.(Original Gangster) directed by Madeleine Sackler starring Jeffrey Wright as well as the feature docs The Lottery, directed by Madeleine Sackler (short-listed for Oscar nomination 2011), American Teen, directed by Nanette Burstein, and Racing Dreams directed by Marshall Curry (audience award, TriBeCa Film Festival 2009).
In the past two years, Held has put his emphasis on filming many socially minded non-fiction projects. He has been traveling the globe with Nicholas Kristof for the high profile PBS show Half the Sky and A Path Appears, has been shooting for Leonardo Di Caprio for his documentary After the Flood and continues to photograph for the ongoing documentary TV show Years of Living Dangerously.
Throughout his career, Wolfgang Held has also been photographing as well as co-producing films with his wife, filmmaker Pola Rapaport: Broken Meat (1992), Blind Light (1998), Family Secret (2000), Writer of O (2005), and Hair: Let the Sunshine In (2007). His camerawork in Broken Meat, which was shown at Sundance, won Best Cinematography at the Oberhausen International Film Festival. Held has also co-written and co-produced as well as photographed the directorial debut of David Jacobson, Criminal (1994).
Wolfgang Held holds an M.F.A. in Film from Temple University and studied American Literature in Germany.