Paul Wolff had already experimented with photography as a child. As a doctor of medicine, he did his military service as a regimental doctor during the First World War. Subsequently, the native of Mühlhausen was expelled from the Alsace, which was annexed to France. In 1919, he moved to Frankfurt am Main, where he found employment initially as a laboratory assistant and cinematographer at Ideal-Film from 1920. In parallel, he published photo books such as Alt-Frankfurt (1923). In 1924 he went into business for himself as a photographer and covered all genres. In 1926 he took part in the German Photographic Exhibition in Frankfurt, as well as other renowned exhibitions. From 1929 onwards, he received industrial commissions, including from Krupp, Nivea and Peek & Cloppenburg. His photographic manual Meine Erfahrungen mit der Leica (My Experiences with the Leica), with which he became a pioneer of 35mm photography, was published in 1934. In the same year, his assistant Alfred Tritschler became co-owner of the studio, which had earned a reputation nationally and internationally by then. From 1938 onwards, Wolff also received government commissions. During a bombing raid on Frankfurt in 1944, the studio was destroyed; his Leica negatives had been removed to storage and were saved. After the war, Wolff documented the devastation in the city of Frankfurt and was able to re-establish himself as a photographer thanks to new commissions from resurgent industry.