Jacob is a member of Magnum Photos. Yossi Milo Gallery in New York, Rita Castelotte Gallery in Madrid, and RTR Gallery in Paris also represent him.
Jacob was born in Denmark, in 1976 and grew up in Brøndby Strand in the suburbs south of Copenhagen. He lived as an exchange student in Strathroy, Canada from 1994-95, and as a hunter and fisherman in Tiniteqilaaq, Greenland from 2000-2002. In Spring 2006, he moved to Tokyo, staying there 18 months before returning to Denmark in August 2008. He now lives and works in Copenhagen.
After studying at the European Film College, Jacob was admitted to Fatamorgana, the Danish School of Documentary and Art Photography in 1998. There he developed a unique, expressive style of black-and-white photography, which he has since refined and further developed.
In the autumn of 1999 he went to live in the settlement Tiniteqilaaq on the East Coast of Greenland. Over the next three years he lived mainly in this township with his Greenlandic girlfriend Sabine and her family, living the life of a fisherman and hunter but also photographing. The resultant book, Sabine, was published in 2004 and the work was nominated for the 2005 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.
In the summer of 2005, Jacob traveled with a film crew to Guatemala to make a documentary about a young Mayan girl’s first journey to the ocean. The following year he returned by himself to the mountains of Guatemala where he met the indigenous family Gomez-Brito. He stayed with them for a month to tell the story of their everyday life. The series won the First Prize Award, Daily Life Stories, World Press Photo 2006.
In 2006 he moved to Tokyo and during the next two years he created the images from his resent book, I, Tokyo. The book was awarded the Leica European Publishers Award 2008 and published by Actes Sud (France), Apeiron (Greece), Dewi Lewis Publishing (Great Britain), Edition Braus (Germany), Lunwerg Editores (Spain), Peliti Associati (Italy) and Mets & Schilt (The Netherlands).
In 2008, Jacob started working in Bangkok and in 2009 in Copenhagen. Both projects will be published as books in 2013. Jacob most recently worked on the project, Arrivals and Departures — a journey from Moscow to Beijing — in co-operation with Leica Camera.
"As much as possible, I worked from instinct. Taking photos resembles an improvised game. I feel that the more a photo is spontaneous and unplanned, the more it becomes alive, the more it moves from showing to existing."
Magnum photographer Jacob Aue Sobol made a trek from Moscow to Ulan Bator to Beijing in one month — often making more than 1,000 photographs each day for 28 days straight. He reveals his process in this great 5 minute video interview.