Werner Mahler was born in 1950 in Bossdorf near Lutherstadt Wittenberg. From 1970 to 1972 he was the assistant to the photographer Ludwig Schirmer. In 1978 he completed his studies in photography at the School of Graphic and Book Arts in Leipzig. He is a founding member of OSTKREUZ and remains its managing director. In 2005 he founded the OSTKREUZSCHULE school for photography together with Thomas Sandberg. He lives in Lehnitz outside of Berlin.