Manfred Vollmer was born in Torgau/Elbe in 1944. After studying photography at the Folkwangschule Essen, he began doing freelance work for weekly newspapers, national daily newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, and stock photo agencies, et cetera in 1970. In 1979, he won the first prize in the World Press photo competition Den Haag in the category of News Picture Stories with a series on an oil spill in Brittany. Starting in the 1980s, he undertook numerous commissions for IG Metall. In 2010, he produced extensive works for Ruhr.2010—European Capital of Culture. Vollmer lives and works in Essen.