Jacob Langvad Nilsson is a Danish photographer and visual ethnographer. His work has been described as having an “unembellished yet informed documentary style,” which emerges from an intense labor of subtlety and precision.
Jacob’s research work focuses primarily on human-centered design research that inspires future product development. He wishes to capture people and their customs as they are—not as we desire them to be—in order to help product designers, government policy makers and international brands make culturally relevant decisions. Jacob also works occasionally as a freelance photographer for select editorial and commercial clients.
After graduating from the Danish School of Journalism in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Photojournalism, Jacob received a one-year scholarship to FABRICA, Benetton’s Communication Research Center in Italy, where he refined his visual communication and documentary photography skills as an artist in residence.
Jacob then spent three years in São Paulo, Brazil, where he worked as a photographer for consumer behavior research companies, the Brazilian government and various humanitarian causes. His work in Brazil was largely focused on documenting cultural and social change among Brazilian youth during a period of tumultuous economic development.
In 2010, Jacob relocated to New York City and co-founded Tender Research, a new breed of market research agency specializing in strategic analysis of consumer behavior in emerging markets. Jacob travels all over the world with the Tender Research team conducting field-work and visual ethnography on behalf of internationally recognized clients.
Jacob Langvad Nilsson continues to work persistently in the cross-section between editorial photojournalism and visual ethnography, pushing the boundaries of human-centered design research to tell stories about globalization, cultural shift, and the aspirations and desires of people living in a changing world.