How Denmark Inspires

Photographer Anders Overgaard Shares His Family’s Danish Christmas Traditions


Like this Story? You Might Also Like:

In this very personal portfolio, photographer Anders Overgaard offers a glimpse of the Danish customs that flavor his family’s Christmas celebration. At the rustic cabin where Overgaard, his sons Oliver and Rasmus, and his sister’s family retreat for the holiday, the tree commands center stage once they swathe it in garlands of Danish flags and set it aglow with tapered candles on Christmas Eve. That same evening, they open the mound of gifts piled under the tree, knowing that one specially wrapped present will be reserved for the family member who finds the lone almond in the traditional Christmas rice pudding called risalamande.

Days are spent making the most of the frosty climate – being the first to cut through the snow-covered ice on a frozen pond, building a jolly snowman and constructing an igloo that just so happens to afford a cozy hiding place for his Overgaard’s nephew, Albert.

As for indoor activities, Overgaard’s mother, Lillemor, spares no detail in the gingerbread house she creates each year with her grandchildren. These short days and long, dark nights are brightened by the warmth of family and the profound pleasure of sharing traditions with the next generation.



In the world Anders Overgaard creates in his images, life is active, engaged and physical, with a cinematic narrative twist and a real sense of beauty. He has shot advertising campaigns for clients including Estee Lauder and Ralph Lauren and editorial for Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Born in Helsingor, Denmark (Hamlet’s notorious hometown), Overgaard completed his education at the Copenhagen Graphic Design School. He spent a year in Paris assisting notable fashion photographers like Gilles Bensimon, then moved to New York in 1990 to work with photographer Bruce Weber. The five years he spent traveling with Weber shaped Overgaard’s high standards and complete devotion to creating the best possible imagery for his clients. Ultimately, he put down roots in New York, where he has worked as a photographer for the past 15 years. Married with a wife and two sons, Overgaard divides his time among New York, London and Copenhagen.