Geof Kern was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1950. He grew up in Flushing, Queens and Southern California. Conscripted into military service during the Vietnam war, Kern enrolled at the technical photography school Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California after service with the help of the GI Bill and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1976.
Kern moved to Dallas in 1977 to begin his career and gradually his work for regional clients, notably Texas Monthly magazine, began to win awards in New York. By 1990 he was working and attracting press internationally (early press examples).
His client list includes fashion and product still life projects for Selfrdiges London, Bloomingdales NY, Neiman-Marcus, Takashimaya, Mons. Nicole, the men's division of Matsuda Japan, as well as conceptual campaigns for Mercedes France, Ford Europe, Acura North America, BNP-Paribas, and Interface International. Editorially, he photographed fashion, portraits and illustration series on an ongoing basis for magazines such as Esquire, Spy, The New York Times, Beach Culture, and Rolling Stone.
In 2020 Kern retired from assignment photography to work on personal projects, manage his archive, and oversee producing limited edition prints of his work which have been collected by institutions and individuals worldwide.
Among many professional honors Kern is a recipient of the peer-nominated Infinity Award in Applied Photography from The International Center Of Photography (ICP) in New York. Other awards include the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award for Magazine Photography from Columbia University, New York, and a Grammy for album art. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Musée Des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, the London Design Museum, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.