Karl Johaentges was born in Daun/Eifel, Germany in 1948. His studies in architecture first brought him to Hanover. In 1981, after five years working in his profession the then 33-year old architect set off (now or never!) on a 3-year travel and working adventure. Besides travelling he worked for architects in India, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. In New Zealand he began to changeover/transition to photography.

After these nomadic years of architecture and photography in 1981 he published his first book, �Pictures of a World Trip� under his own KaJo publishing label. Since then he has photographed and published, together with his Australian wife Jackie Blackwood, a popular photo book series (totalling more than a quarter of a million copies). Three titles received the KODAK Photo Book Award.

His articles and photos have been released in major German and international publications Stern, Spiegel, Merian, Geo, Zeit-Magazin, and National Geographic Traveller.

In 1996, in order to dedicate more time to photography, he sold the travel book series to a publisher Southern German, where his books continued to be distributed under the KaJo label. Regional books however continued to be published by KaJo in Hanover.
Until now Karl has published more than 40 photographic books. In 2005 two opulent photography books on China were launched: "Shanghai, the Myth" by Collection Rolf Heyne and "The Holy Mountains of China" published by Frederking & Thaler. The latter was nominated for the German Photo book award as was "Roofs above Berlin" published by Hinstorff in 2008. The cooperation with Hinstorff has been intensified with the Hinstorff publisher taking over the regional titles of KaJo in 2010.

In 1990 along with several colleagues, Karl had co-founded the well known photo-agency LOOK in Munich. Today he is one of the 11 shareholders of LOOKphotos where his work is represented worldwide. In May 2003 he was voted onto the national committee of FREELENS (Association of Photo-journalists). Between 2006 - 2012 he was on the advisory committee of the Photographers Association

Karl Johaentges continues to be based in Hanover but spends a few months of the year with Jackie Blackwood in his second home New Zealand. His work does focus on travel features, photo reportage, as well as architecture and aerial photography.