Rudolf Bonvie was born in Hoffnungsthal in 1947, and between 1968 and 1973 he studied photography at the Kölner Werkschulen. Between 1975 and 1978 Bonvie pursued studies in philosophy in Cologne. His photography indeed combines the theoretical with the aesthetic, as it explores the function and impact of photography as a form of communication. He received various scholarships and was awarded numerous prizes, among them in 1981 the fellowship awarded by Forum Junger Kunst, Bonn, and a fellowship for contemporary German photography by the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach foundation in 1988. He has taught at the University in Essen and at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Offenbach. Having spent many years in France, Bonvie now lives and works near Cologne.