Mads Nissen


Mads Nissen (1979) is a photographer based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

For Nissen photography is all about empathy - creating understanding, a closeness and intimacy. He strives to build that connection while focusing on contemporary social issues such as inequality, human rights violations and our often destructive relationship with nature.
After graduating in 2007 with distinction from The Danish School of Journalism he moved to Shanghai to document the human and social consequences of China’s historic economic rise. In 2009, he was selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass.

Since 2014 he has worked as a staff photographer at the Danish daily Politiken. His images are also published in Time, Newsweek, CNN, National Geographic, The Guardian, Stern, and Der Spiegel among others. 

He frequently gives lectures and workshops and has had solo-exhibitions across Europe and Latin America. 

In both 2015 and 2021, his photographs were selected as World Press Photo of the Year. In 2015, his photograph was of an intimate moment between a young gay couple from Russia, and in 2021, ‘The First Embrace,’ depicted an embrace between two women in a carehome in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2021, he was named ‘Photographer of the Year’ for the fourth time in Denmark. He has also been shortlisted twice as ‘Photographer of the Year’ at the Pictures of the Year International Award (POYi). 
Nissen has published three photo books: The Fallen (People's Press), AMAZONAS (Gyldendal) and most recently in 2018 the award-winning We are Indestructible (GOST Books).

He is internationally represented by Panos Pictures, Prospekt in Italy and LAIF in Germany.

World Press Photo Involvement:
2022 World Press Photo Contest jury member
2021 World Press Photo Contest winner
2015 World Press Photo Contest winner
2011 World Press Photo Contest winner
2009 Joop Swart Masterclass participant
6x6 Global Talent Program nominator

Mads Nissen on Social Media:
Instagram: @madsnissenphoto
Twitter: @MadsNissenPhoto

Mads Nissen

Image credit: Morten Rode