About Copenhagen Photo Festival

Copenhagen Photo Festival is one of Europe’s leading festivals of national and international contemporary photography. We build bridges between fine art photography and documentary photography through our three programme pillars Framing Identity, Framing Society and Framing Vision. Each year 250-300 photographers from all over the world participates in the festival’s programme through the festival center at Refshaleøen, the home of 5-10 curated solo exhibitions and The Censored Exhibition, or in collaboration with one of our 45 staellites. In total, we have more than 55 exhibitions throughout Copenhagen and Southern Sweden, and we’re proud to welcome 55,000 visitors at the annual event in June.

Next festival is June 6 – June 16 2019. For eleven days, photography is put on the agenda with exhibitions, workshops, seminars, photo tours, portfolio reviews and more.

Copenhagen Photo Festival had 54.925 visitors in 2018 and 56 exhibitions in collaboration with 46 different exhibition sites.

Copenhagen Photo Festival works with three programme pillars, which build bridges between fine art photography and documentary photography.

Framing Society: Exhibitions concerned with society. Politics, ideology and culture.

Framing Vision: Exhibitions where the medium sets the framework. Aesthetique, technique and media.

Framing Identity: Exhibitions where the individual is in focus. Subject, existence and identity.

The history of the festival

Copenhagen Photo Festival was launched in 2010 by Rasmus Ranum and Julie Names Klitbo as a Scandinavian industry initiative for art and documentary photography. The vision was to create awareness about Nordic photography and bring the international photography world to Denmark. The festival has now grown to become Scandinavia’s largest photo event. From 2010 to 2015 the festival center Photo City were located in Carlsberg City, but moved to Østerbro in 2016. The Managing Director of the festival has since 2016 been Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, who has been head of the festival since 2013.


7- 17 June 2018

In 2018 it was yet again the closed substation, Understation, and the surrounding wilderness, that provided the framework for the center of the festival. Photo City consisted in 2018 of 11 international exhibition, including indoor and outdoor film screenings as well as a hidden exhibition space made of containers.

This year’s festival also presented exhibitions all over Copenhagen and in Scania, and the workshops and events during the festival gave visitors the oppotunity to work with and immerse themselves in photography. An international seminar focused on portraying everyday life in conflict areas, and in Photo City visitors had the opportunity to experience the festival’s exhibitions through taste.

In 2018 the festival beat its own record with no less than 449 applications from all over the world at our open call to The Censored Exhibition.

See the programme


1- 11 June 2017

In 2017 the new Photo City got established in Østerbro where 11 international exhibitions were located in the area around Gasværksgrunden:
The abandoned transformer station was transformed into a hall with exhibitions, Østre Gasværk Theater screened movies and photo shows. Gasværksgrunden got its own exhibition park with photography works in the wilderness and a new mobile exhibition hall made out of containers.

In 2017 CPF provided the setting for more than 100 different activities. There were workshops for every age groups which offered learning and creative development and international conferences with focus on the importance of photography. In addition to that the festival crowd had the possibility to experience Copenhagen’s hidden treasures on ‘’Urban Photo Tour’’ around in the city.

2017 was also the year where the festival got a record number of international applications to Photo City. New initiatives were added: portfolio reviews, film screenings, photo book days and walkings with sound stories. And finally all the exhibitions which CPF’s partners presented.

See the programme

Copenhagen Photo Festival 2016

2- 12 June 2016

2016 was a landmark year for Copenhagen Photo Festival with a new management, program committee and a new program strategy. Photo City moved out of Carlsberg City and became a photo route from Bremerholm transformer station in the city to KW3 and Museumsbygningen in Østerbro. ‘Picture The Music’ culminated with the coffee table book release of the best music photos from three years of traveling exhibitions. For the first time in the history of the festival, an auction of selected photos from ‘Picture the Music’ and the Juried Exhibition were held in collaboration with Brun Rasmussen Auctioneers. We held an international seminar in collaboration with the National Museum of Photography, and we launched the app Look & Listen, offering the audience a whole new way to experience the classic exhibition format. Finally, there was all the exhibits that CPF’s collaborators presented.

Copenhagen Photo Festival 2015

4- 14 June 2015

2015 was the year when CPF launched new fields of action. We presented a media channel with podcasts and videos on both the festival as all as the entire photographic scene. CPF’s new education portal efterbilleder.dk on photography in elementary school was launched, the best student photos were exhibited in Photo City and workshops for children and adolescents were held for the first time. We opened up for unconventional approaches to photography with the group exhibition Peripheral Vision, which challenged the classical photography and its borders. Benita Marcus’s documentary exhibition ‘Men & Dolls’ on mens relationships with silicone dolls became a crowd-puller. Photo City was located in Carlsberg City but had a department in Øksnehallen where you could see two exhibitions on the Nordic region. Soren Rønholts book and exhibition ‘The Nordic’ and Lasse Bak Mejlvang & Dennis Lehmann’s book and exhibition ‘Inuit Now’ about towns and settlements in Greenland. Finally, there was all the exhibits that CPF’s collaborators presented.

Copenhagen Photo Festival 2014

5- 15 June 2014

In 2014 we celebrated the festival’s fifth anniversary with a Photo City programme that among other things featured a DRK-cinema, a pop-up photo editing room with the photojournalists from Politiken and the launch of the nationwide music photo project ‘Picture the Music,’ which was exhibited simultaneously eight different locations around the country. We ran a masterclass in collaboration with Magnum and introduced Aperture Foundation photo book exhibition ‘The Paris Photo’. Josef Hoflehners exhibition ‘Jet Airliner’, Astrid Kruse Jensens ‘Within the Landscape’ and especially Joachim Ladefogeds personal photo book and exhibition project ‘After My Time’ were among the headliners in Photo City. Finally, there was all the exhibits that CPF’s collaborators presented.

Copenhagen Photo Festival 2013

6- 16 June 2013

  • Photo Applications and mobile photography was the focus of this year’s Photo City, where we collaborated with the street festival Distortion on a street photography exhibition, curated by Rasmus Weng Karlsen and Gallery Naboløs. The competition ‘Hipstagram FTW’ was based solely on mobile photos and had among others Kristine Kern from Photographic Center as a jury member. Danish photography just now was examined in the exhibition ‘State of The Art’ with works on loan from V1 Gallery, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Martin Asbæk Gallery and Peter Lav Gallery. DR K had a theme week on photography with documentaries on iconic photographers, and the auction house Bruun Rasmussen arranged their very first photo auction in connection with Copenhagen Photo Festival. In the practical end of the scale, photographers could get a camera check in Canon’s “Check and Clean” service. Finally, there was all the exhibits that CPF’s collaborators presented.

Copenhagen Photo Festival 2012

7- 17 June 2012

Nordic contemporary photography and press photography were to important themes in 2012. At the two-day seminar NORDIC NU, organised by Filter (DK), Objektiv (NO) and Raw (FI), photographers, critics and researchers discussed Nordic photography. The Commission for Press Photography celebrated its 100th anniversary with an exhibition at Nytorv, and at Photo City exhibited a large exhibition with the photographers from Politiken and there were smaller exhibitions with Henrik Saxgren, Martin Lehmann and Niels Hougaard. The young photojournalists behind Personal Project decorated The City Fence at the Kings Square. The public space in Copenhagen was taken over by the City space Art Project with art photos in 130 poster stands. Finally there was all the exhibits that CPF’s collaborators presented.

Copenhagen Photo Festival 2011

9- 19 June 2011

Photo City moved to Carlsberg City and presented a multitude of small solo exhibitions. The most significant exhibition in townscape was 2200 Everyday Rituals about life in the neighborhood Nørrebro. The citizens own images of everyday life was exhibited in all the shop windows along Nørrebrogade as a counterweight to the negative news stories about the area. The jury consisted of gallery owner Martin Asbæk and the experienced photographers Joachim Ladefoged and Jacob Holdt. The TV channel DR subsequently took the concept further with the broadcasting of Danes Everyday Rituals.  At the other end of the spectrum, CPF held a symposium on staged photography in cooperation with the National Gallery of Denmark (SMK). In 2011, CPF also initiated a cooperation with the Metro Company and had exhibitions in all metros. Finally, there was all the exhibits that CPF’s collaborators presented.

Copenhagen Photo Festival 2010

12- 20 May 2010

On the festival’s first year the foundations was laid and ideas got tested. Emphasis was placed on having a main exhibition: Day & Night, which consisted of series of 16 prominent Danish and international photographers, including Nicolai Howalt, Todd Hido, Dash Snow, Peter Sutherland, who depicted the diurnal two modus vivendi. The exhibition took over Copenhagen’s most visited places in the form of billboards, banners and projections on gables, walls and big screens in the evening. The exhibition was followed by a photo competition launched by CPF, Canon and The Museum of Copenhagen with the aim to involve the audience and spread awareness of photography. The winning pictures were exhibited at the WALL and it was the beginning of the festival getting citizens involved with photography. At the other end of the scale, symposiums were offered at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and at gallery exhibition openings with a record high number of visitors in the occasion of the festival opening. Photo City was located in the Meatpacking District and was a broad-spectrum presentation of both fashion photography as well as art photography and photojournalism. Finally, there was all the exhibits that CPF’s collaborators presented.


Copenhagen Photo Festival is a nonprofit organization funded by public grants and private sponsors. The festival would like to thank the foundations, sponsors and partners who over the years has supported the festival:


We are always looking for interns or volunteers who wants to help with organizing the festival. If interested, please send an email to Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen