Peter Lindbergh was born in 1944 in Lissa (Leszno), Poland. He was the third child in the family. At 14 Peter left school to start working as a window dresser for the local department store. Then he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin at 18, but soon decided to follow in the footsteps of his idol, Vincent van Gogh and go to Arles. Peter worked on the farm in the mornings and painted in the evenings, selling his work in the markets.
Later he continued hitchhiking around Europe and North Africa.
"I was about 20. I was lost to society: smoking pot, sleeping outside. Two years on the road is long. That is a lot of time to think. It made me a different man" -Lindbergh recalls those times.
Lindbergh discovered photography by an accident. His brother's children delighted him so much that Peter wanted to photograph them, and that was when he got his first camera. In 1971 he worked as photographer assistant, and in 1973 he opened his own studio in Düsseldorf. Lindbergh shot the first advertising campaign for VW Golf, and a fashion photoshoot for the prestigious Stern magazine. In 1978, Peter moved to Paris and began publishing in Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone.