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Mads Perch is a Danish born London- based photographer. Following graduation with a BA (Hons) from the London College of Fashion in 2005 Mads began to shoot editorial work for i-D magazine. This lead to shooting for pioneering record labels such as Warp, 4AD and many others, producing exclusive press images and album covers. In 2010 Mads was awarded with an ‘Album cover of the year award’ for his work on the Klaxons’ Surfing the Void album campaign.

Guy Merrill, Art Director, Getty Images on Mad’s image:


“There’s a refreshingly subtle and authentic approach to Mads Perch’s work. This image from a rooftop shoot in East London is a particularly emotive portrait. I’m drawn into the composition – this young, black man framed by urban London. His elevated position on this council estate plays into ideas of escape and aspiration – hope for the future. His contemplative expression and boyish clothing build on this message. The subject is shot with an editorial approach – which makes it feel fresh and honest. There are no filters or Photoshop. It simply feels genuine.”

Mads Perch on his work
“This specific image is from a series I did recently with Art Director Gemma Fletcher. I had this idea for a long time about doing a project photographing a swimmer in the exact moment when they would either hit the water surface, or come back up to the surface to breathe again.

It’s a moment I associate with great energy and power. When you watch free divers you always see people coming back up to the surface to breathe with such power or when you watch people dive in from a spring- board the speed they often hit the  water with is fascinating.

After finding the right people, we went on to find a small swimming pool we could use for a couple of hours to shoot in. To add more drama to the images I decided to use some red gels on the lighting and make it more focused – to only let enough light capture the area around the person.

I wasn’t interested in showing the whole pool, I wanted the focus on the person and the water around him as he emerges from the water. I like to capture effects in camera as much as possible because I think it achieves a different output than retouching.”

Local inspiration
“Being lucky enough to live in London, which is one of the most multi-cultural and creative cities in the world, inspires me a lot. It can be little things that I see on the streets or people I meet or new music I discover while being out, all these things inspire me and help form the work I do.”

My creative space
“I love to go sailing in my spare time and love everything about the seaside. I think sailing is a way for me to get away from hectic everyday life and I often come up with new ideas and plans once out there. I know this sounds like a bit of a cliché but it’s something that really works for me.”

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Creative in Focus which you can view here.

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