Gísli’s interest in photography started around 1980 and he got his first real camera, which was Ricoh KR10, 35mm, in 1982. He learned the basics in photography from a photographer who had a studio in Isafjordur, his hometown, at that time. In the beginnig he shot mainly landscape pictures of the beautiful and harsh nature where he lived. He also took pictures of people he met on his daily basis, but nothing professional. Gísli studied law at the University of Iceland after graduating from High school in Reykjavík. After three years studying law, in the autumn 2011, he started at “The School of Photography” in Reykjavík, Iceland (; and graduated in the beginning of the year 2014 as a professional Photographer. During his studies Gísli was under guidance of some of the best known photographers in Iceland: Saga Sig ( and Einar Falur (; Gunnar Svanberg (; Spessi ( and also of Jónatan Grétarsson (, who was his personal Mentor during his studies. Gísli’s main interest became documentary based photography, and this was reflected in the career choices he made since. In pursuit of this passion, he attended a special Workshop in Israel “The Other Side of the Conflict”, held by the group Punctum, (http://www.punctum. com/workshop_israel.html), in November 2013, under guidance of the documentary photographer, Jan Grarup ( In March 2014 he attended a workshop in Asia, with emphasis on people‘s lives in Cambodia and Vietnam, under guidance from Thorkell Thorkellson, documentary phoptographer ( Then, in November of the same year he attended a further workshop in Bangkok, Thailand, under guidance from “Workshopx” where he started a new project (body of Work) regarding “Ladyboys” in Asia. Gísli has now exhibited his photographs in the public domain, in total participating in three group exhibitions in Iceland. He has published one book “Óminni Hversdagsleikans” with photographs of homeless people in Reykjavik, which he documented over several years, and he is currently working on books associated with his travels around Asia. Some of his work, regarding Ladboys, has been published this year (2017) in the digitalmedia, Gayiceland; and the national radio in Iceland, RUV; where Gísli discussed this project. The year 2017 Gísli graduated with a Diploma in Photojournalism and documentary photography, held by DMJX (Denmarks Media og Journalisthojskole), NOOR and WPP (World Press Photo). Gísli has been a professional NPPA member since 2014. Member on the board of the Icelandic Photographers’ Association since 2020, and member of the fellowship since 2014. FEP (Federation of European Photographers) since 2022.


2017 > Diploma in Photojournalism from the, DMJX, NOOr and WPP
2011-2014 > The school of Photography (Ljósmyndaskólinn).
2007-2011 > University of Iceland, Faculty of Law (Háskóli Íslands).
2004-2007 > College Student (Mennaskólinn við Hamrahlíð).

Clients (short list):

RÉA – France (

Bühler – Uzwil, Switzerland

Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine, NY

Galerie Louis Carré & Cie – París, France – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Rafholt ehf. – Reykjavík, Iceland

Birtingur ehf. – Reykjavík, Iceland

Gísli Hjálmar Svendsen:  / /