I was standing in The Photographers' Gallery in London searching for a photographic book. Not one in particular. Any one could do, as long as it was inspiring and cheap. Working as a waiter in London I had very little money, but I wanted inspiration to become a photographer. The year was 1986.
I chose a Photo Poche about Josef Koudelka, beacuse I liked the pictures. They were like poems and had a beauty and a magic that I liked. Little did I know that I had chosen one of the world's most famous photographers.
This small book was my first photographic book and Koudelka became the first of a long series of favourite photographers.
I began to make own pictures and the magic feeling of photography has never left me. And it doesn't matter if it's my own work or the work of others, I still get excited when seeing good photography.
pictures, pictures, pictures
Since 1998 i've been teaching photojournalism at The Danish School of Media and Journalism. We run a world famous education for photojournalism, where I'm lucky to be the head of the Department for Photojournalism. This work gives me the oppertunity to see and comment on pictures every day.
To work with young students of photojournalism is great. It's a constant development and gives me daily challenges. I have to state my points of view, I get challenged on new ways of seeing and I try to coach and inspire.
Next to my daily job at the school I do my own projects outside the school:
Doing work outside The Danish School of Media and Journalism creates a variation to my daily work and gives me new inputs that I can use in my teaching.
i've been judging a lot of photo competitions, such as Press Photo of the Year in Denmark and in Finland, Fuji World Press in Denmark and The FreeLens Award for Young Photojournalism.
A language with possibilities
Way back in 1991 I was educated as a press photographer. For the next seven years I worked as a staff photographer at local and regional newspapers in Denmark and for some years I worked as a freelance photographer.
During my time as a full time press photographer I always made my own projects and created exhibitions with stories and pictures that were different from my everyday work. I have made several exhibitions both in Denmark and abroad, for instance at The Danish Museum of Photography and in cities like Gdansk and Moscow.
Right now my time for making my own exhibitions is limited. I focus on teaching photography. But I believe that making exhibitions and projects has developed me both as a photographer and as a teacher of photography. They have helped me to understand the great possibilities within this language.
I believe that photojournalism is much more than the daily news picture or the traditional portrait.
Photojournalism has a varity of possibilities for story telling. Different genres, various styles and lots of media platforms. I believe that photojournalism is still an important language and a media of the future.