Anders Bybjerg  //  @andersbybjerg

Anders Bybjerg is a Danish photographer with an eye for tones. Currently based in Chicago, he and his lens are known for bringing warmth to cool mountain ridges, huddling you around a campfire, and putting you face-to-face with the open road. We caught up with Anders to talk about teaching yourself photography, father son bonding time, and balancing creativity with Finance Masters.

 
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Your eye for a good shot is spectacular. Were you self taught, or did you have any outside influences?

I am what most people would call "self-taught," but everything I know about photography comes from what my dad taught me.

For as long as I can remember my dad has been taking pictures and filming, and I guess somewhere along the way, the idea of documenting moments rubbed off on me.

I started with a Canon Rebel T2i that my dad bought me when I was 13, and even though I didn't use it much in the beginning, it eventually caught on.

My dad taught me all about the mechanics of a camera and how to use it, and then the rest I've just picked up from experience and the internet.

The biggest thing that's helped me is just putting hours and hours into looking at the work of other photographers and finding what I liked and didn't like, then going out and trying different things with my camera.

Every day I’d be walking around inside this factory, dreaming about going out and seeing the world.

What sparked your love for outdoor photography?

It's a funny thing, but during the summer of 2015 I was working a manual labor job for 11 hours a day to save up money for college.

Every day I'd be walking around inside this factory, dreaming about going out and seeing the world.

After I finished working, I had about three weeks left of summer. I decided to take a trip to South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and North Dakota before school started back up.

It was such a good time and I just fell in love with the beauty of the outdoors and how it refreshes your mind and body to be outside, exploring new places.

 

Where has been your favourite place to shoot so far? Why?

Towards the end of summer last year, I took a trip with my dad to The Faroe Islands and fell absolutely in love with the landscape and culture there.

Not only was it my favourite place to take pictures (check out a couple of Anders awesome shots here and here), but spending that much time in close quarters with my dad really made me begin to take photography seriously, and try to improve my editing as well as my photography.

Another place that I absolutely loved was the Alabama Hills in California. Watching the sunset over a desert landscape with the Eastern Sierras in the background was just an absolutely breathtaking experience, and the pictures from that trip still amaze me.

If you could give your past self a few pieces of advice, what would they be?

I think the biggest thing is I'd tell myself not to worry so much about what everyone thinks.

It's not that I've learned to completely stop worrying about what people think, but in the last year or so of my life, I've really started to focus on what I like doing as opposed to what I felt I "should" be doing.

Being outside and taking pictures is something that I love and I've loved for a long time, but I haven't always been open about it and I haven't always been able to share my pictures and experiences like I do now.

Just being able to do what I love without having any concerns about seeming or looking cool to others is such a relief.

Another thing that kind of goes along the same lines, is I'd tell my younger self to be a little more adventurous, and take some more risks in life.

Spontaneous ideas always yield great results because even if they somehow fail, you'll learn from your experiences and you'll have a fun story to tell.

...whenever I do something creative now, I always feel like I’m playing catch-up because I got started so late.

Spontaneity always brings excitement! What spontaneous adventures have you taken recently?

My spontaneity hasn't been the same lately because I am finishing up my Master's degree in Finance in a couple of weeks.

I’ve decided to focus a little more on that than photography, at least until I graduate. I've been wanting a dog for the longest time and have been looking for a place to get one.

Last weekend I finally found one and my girlfriend jumped in the car and drove 7 hours each way to go get him. That was pretty spontaneous and one of the better decisions I've ever made.

Was there anything you feel you missed out on when you were young and less spontaneous?

The biggest thing I missed out on is probably expanding my creativity while I was young and in that learning intensive state.

I grew up playing soccer and basketball and always felt a little embarrassed about the fact that I really enjoy being creative.

I wish I had the courage back then to go and explore that side of myself, because whenever I do something creative now, I always feel like I'm playing catch-up because I got started so late.

On the other hand, growing up and being a part of teams, and especially the experience I had playing college basketball is what really gave me the confidence to take pride in who I am.

By no means do I regret anything, because I love how it all turned out and I continue to find things that intrigue me, but sometimes you wonder what might have been.

 

What projects or adventures can we expect from Anders in the future?

Like I mentioned earlier, I'm graduating in early May and then I'm going to take a trip to The Smoky Mountains for about a week with my parents, girlfriend, and of course my puppy.

After that, I'm thinking of jumping in my car and seeing the United States once and for all. I really want to explore the North and Southwest, and get a chance to be on the road for an extended period of time without too many concerns.

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