Danish photographer Simon Larsen
Simon Larsen is a Danish art director living in a small village about 35 kilometres outside Copenhagen. He commutes by train to Copenhagen for work every day balancing a country life with kids with a bit of city life. He is a self-taught amateur photographer who created a popular Instagram account a while back ago where he displays beautiful images of Denmark, making people that haven’t already been book their flights!
What camera do you use?
Mainly my iPhone but also a cheap second hand Canon DSLR with my favourite 50 mm lens which I use for everything – quite an unorthodox method I know, but it gives me the results I’m after.
Editing is a big part of giving my images their look. On the phone I use the apps VSCO-cam and SnapSeed for adjusting the look. For my DSLR shots I’m using Lightroom and PhotoShop on my laptop.
What does social media mean for you and your photography?
Social media – mainly Instagram – means that I get responses to the photos that I take. The nice thing about it is that it’s almost always positive feedback that people take time to give. It also means that I get lots of inspiration from the skilled photographers I follow. Besides that, social media has given me opportunities, experiences and the chance to meet new people that I wouldn’t have without it.
Can you tell us about your job in the city as an art director?
I work as an Art Director in an advertising agency focusing mainly on conceptual design and packaging. We believe that visual appearance is so much stronger if it’s based on a core idea and communicates that story in every touch point.
What makes Denmark so special?
Isn’t every country special in their own way? Guess a foreigner would be better at pointing out the unique qualities. I’ve always found it easier to discover the greatness of new places rather than the one you are used to. That being said the tiny size, the design tradition, the social security system, the amount of coast line and the free health care system all play a part in why the Danes time and time again are claimed to be one of the happiest people on the planet I guess.
What is your favourite Danish;
I find myself having kind of a hard time with Danish music in general. But occasionally there are bands that make music for my ears. Some examples being; Iceage, Sandmen, Raveonettes, Halshug and Hjortene.
Being born on the same day as me Poul Reichhardt was one of the first Danish actors to become a national movie star known by the wide public. He made lots and lots of films from the 1930’s and the next 5 decades portraying mainly the Danish working class hero.
Kaffe – which means coffee – must be one of my favourites.
I’m not that big a shopaholic but I have a few places I like: Super Macato, HAY House, Husted Wine, Dansk Made For Rooms, Normann Copenhagen, Goods, Arket, COS …
Unfortunately I don’t eat traditionally Danish dishes as often as I’d like to. It’s hard for me to point out one specific favourite among all the classics that my grand mother used to cook.
To mention but a few of my favourites I would have to say – “Frikadeller” (pan-fried meatballs), “Smørrebrød” (Danish open sandwich), “Gule Ærter” (split pea soup), “Medister” (sausages) with stewed cabbage, “Grønlangkål” (kale stew), “Hakkebøf” (chopped beef) with gravy and potatoes and of course the big traditional Christmas dinner.
I like to go to places where you’ll dine with a knife and fork but I’m also into more hand held burger-like places. Some of my favourites are Väkst, Nabo, Karmaman, Barburrito, Hija de Sanchez, Warpigs, Jagger, Ancestrale, Spaghetteria, Mangia, Gasoline Grill and Italo Disco.
Bars worth visiting includes – among others – Liedkøb, 1656, Kølsters Tolv Haner, Mikkeller Bar, Brus, Salon 39, Vinbaren Ved Stranden.
I have a couple of favourites; Prolog, Sonny, The Corner 108, Rist, Central Hotel & Café and Ipsen – but I really enjoy seeking out new (and older) places I haven’t visited before on the lookout of the perfect flat white.
Can you tell us about any hidden gems we should visit when we're next in Copenhagen?
If you’re going to be here on a nice summer day I’d start the day off by going for a swim at Bellevue Beach and then maybe bike back towards the city centre heading to Christianshavn for a stroll along the canals with a cup of coffee. Then make a stop at the free town Christiania for one of their guided tours and a beer in the sun outside the local grocery shop. Then I’d get back on the bike and go to La Banchina for lunch, a glass of wine (or two) and then go for another swim before preferably slowly going back to central Copenhagen for dinner and maybe a concert somewhere playing your type of music.