Asger Ladefoged is a Danish photojournalist living in Copenhagen. He graduated from the Danish School of Media and Journalism in the fall of 2014 and now works as a staff photographer at the Danish daily Berlingske, focusing mostly on photojournalism and portraiture. He has covered a number of the terror attacks throughout Europe, the refugee crises, the Middle Eastern conflict in Syria, and Iraq and the war in Ukraine.
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Hi Asger. Firstly, why photography? What does the medium mean to you?
It all started with a fascination of the job itself: being able to meet people, be creative, be curious - and being able to tell stories.
That very same fascination still motivates me today. But now being a photojournalist I'm mostly motivated by telling stories that reach people and hopefully gets them to (re)think how we live our lives or how other people are forced to live their lives. Putting new perspective into peoples minds is very fulfilling for me.
Remind us of your successful projects in the 2017 Sony World Photography Awards. Why did you choose these images and what do they mean to you?
I was lucky enough to be shortlisted for two different series: 'Alternative Teaching' in Daily Life and 'The Fight for Mosul' in Current Affairs & News.
These were two completely different stories from very different parts of the world: Untroubled youths from Western Europe having fun versus the devastating war in Iraq. But nevertheless, the two stories still represent a reality which, I hope, are able to bring new perspectives into the viewer's mind.
Do you have a photographic philosophy?
No matter what story I do I try to bring a "clean sheet" every time I start a project. This includes both my mental state of mind but also regarding my photographic approach. "What’s the story really about?" - that's what I need to figure out, and to try not to do overly fancy pictures without any real content.
Where in the world are you and what's next for you?
I’m currently back home in Copenhagen doing everyday assignments for the Danish daily Berlingske where I work as a staff photographer. A month ago I was in Bangladesh to cover the Rohingya crises.