"When I photograph, I try to use my instincts as much as possible. It is when pictures are unconsidered and irrational that they come to life; that they evolve from showing to being."

- Jacob Aue Sobol

b. 1976


Based in Copenhagen, Denmark


Available for commissions
& assignments

Jacob Aue Sobol was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1976. His images focus on the universality of human emotion and the search for love within often harsh surroundings.

Besides his native Denmark, he has settled for long periods in Canada, Greenland, Guatemala, Japan, Thailand, and Russia. In 2019, he moved to an island in Southern Denmark, where he now lives with his wife Sara and two children, Carmen and Isaac. There, he combines a life of fishing and bookmaking.

His very first images are from the settlement Tiniteqilaaq on the east coast of Greenland. In this township from 1999 to 2002, he made photographs and lived the life of a fisherman and seal hunter while staying with his Inuit girlfriend Sabine and her family. The resulting book, Sabine, was published in 2004.

After his years in Greenland, Aue Sobol traveled to the mountains of Guatemala, where he met the indigenous Gomez-Brito family. He stayed with them for months to tell the story of their everyday life.

He moved to Tokyo in 2006 and over the next two years created the images for the book I, Tokyo, exploring his own loneliness and need for closeness in the tight and confined reality of Japan’s capital. While living in Tokyo, he also traveled intensively to Bangkok. The pictures in the book By The River of Kings are a record of what he saw and the people he met along the Chao Phraya River.

Aue Sobol joined Magnum Photos in 2007 and became a full member in 2012. That year, he began photographing along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. His project Arrivals and Departures focuses on life in the three major cities connected by the rails: Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, and Beijing. This journey lured him further northeast to the remote Russian province of Yakutia and resulted in his project Road of Bones. The title refers to the hundreds of thousands of forced laborers who were interred in the pavement of the road after dying during its construction.

All of Aue Sobol’s work has been published in the monograph With and Without You, starting in Greenland and ending in Yakutia. With his most recent book, James’ House, the circle is completed. Back in Greenland, it is where everything started more than 20 years earlier. James’ House is a tribute of love and admiration for an Inuit man and his continuous fight to provide for his family.

Selected works


Sabine: A Love Story

Jacob Aue Sobol

Jacob Aue Sobol's book reveals a candid account of his intimate relationship with girlfriend Sabine and their life together on the east coast of Greenland

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