Karl Johaentges was born in Daun/Eifel, Germany in 1948. His studies in architecture 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 with renowned architects in India, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. In New Zealand he began his changeover 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 Southern German publisher, where his books continued to be distributed for a while under the KaJo label. Regional books however continued to be published by KaJo in Hanover.

The career changer has photographed almost 50 high-quality illustrated books so far. »Chinas Heilige Berge« (China's Sacred Mountains) and »Dächer über Berlin« (Roofs over Berlin) were nominated for the German Photo Book Award. In 2014 »Die Letzten Venezianer« (The Last Venetians) was launched and 2018 he published together with the Scottish-born Jackie Blackwood the illustrated book »SCOTLAND - the True Soul of a Wild Country« with German National Geographic. Now with his in 2021 published book »Die Deutsche Autobahn« (German Autobahn) he is ending his professional career as a photographer. Karl lives in Hanover with his Scottish-Australian wife Jackie and they continue to love travelling.