Petra grew up between Vienna, Austria and the Southwest of France. Drawn to cinematography from an early age, she moved to New York City to study film at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, from which she graduated with a BFA. She went on to receive additional training at the Czech National Film Academy (FAMU) in Prague, and at the Maine Photographic Workshops.
After a few years of working in both the camera- and the electric departments, she obtained her MFA in Cinematography from the prestigious American Film Institute (AFI) in LA.
American feature films Petra has shot include “The Wackness” (Sony Picture Classics), starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Famke Jansen and Mary-Kate Olsen; Gregor Jordan’s “The Informers” (Senator), starring Kim Basinger, Billy-Bob Thornton, Winona Ryder, Amber Heard and Mickey Rourke, as well as iconic horror-film director Wes Craven’s “My Soul To Take” for Universal. International films have taken her to Southern Mexico, Ghana’s Ashanti territories, Panama’s Kuna Yala islands, the Austrian Alps, India’s Maharashtra province and the Arabian desert.
Petra’s commercial and narrative work has earned her multiple “Best Cinematography” awards. Four of her feature films have been in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, two of which took home the Dramatic Audience Award.
For her achievement in cinematography, Petra was also awarded with the Kodak Vision Award at the WIF Awards in Hollywood, next to fellow honorees Elisabeth Banks, Holly Hunter, Jennifer Aniston and director Catherine Hardwicke. Petra’s name was up first up on Variety’s “Ten Cinematographers to Watch” list that year.
In the past two decades, Petra has lived and worked in New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires. While being based out of Europe again, she continues to work as a local in both Los Angeles and New York, and shoots high-end commercials and feature films all over the world.
More than two decades of globe-trotting have left Petra perfectly trilingual in German, French and English, and also pretty fluent in Spanish.
Petra is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, Hollywood, and is represented by Innovative Artists agency in Los Angeles for feature films, as well as MyManagement in London for commercials.