Erik Refner


After 20 years behind the camera, Erik Refner has now devoted his career to helping photographers. He is the CEO of IDIP.Agency, an organization that finds and protects photographers' copyright on the Internet. Since 2015, he has collaborated with both image agencies and photographers to ensure image creators receives correct compensation for copyright infringements on the Internet. 

Erik Refner was a staff photographer at the Danish newspaper Berlingske for 11 years. Before his film and still photo career, he was a sergeant in the Danish army and a member of The Danish National Pentathlon Team. Refner began his career in photography when a photographer he was modelling for needed an assistant. In 1998, he was admitted to the Danish School of Journalism and graduated in 2002. In 2003 he was a participant of World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass. 

Refner was awarded five times in the annual World Press Photo Contest, including the World Press Photo of the Year in 2002 when he was still a student. His international recognitions also include the Visa d’or, and awards from POYi, Mobius Award and NPPA. In his home country Denmark, Refner was named photographer of the year in 2003 and received the prestigious Cavling Prize in 2009. 

His early work focused on warzones such as Afghanistan, Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the West Bank and Iraq. He later expanded his career into film. His photojournalistic work has been published in Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, The New York Times, Phaidon, Esquire, Elle and Marie Claire, among others. Commercial clients include Canon, Maersk, Coca Cola and Nike.