Mads Alstrup (1808-1876) was the first Danish portrait photographer with his own studio.
In the summer of 1842, he moved to Copenhagen and set up a daguerreotype studio behind the Hercules Pavilion in the Rosenborg Gardens. In this popular area of the city, he had no difficulty in finding clients interested in having their portraits taken.
From 1843 to 1848, he travelled around Denmark, spending a few days or weeks in different towns where he set up temporary studios. In 1849, he finally settled in Copenhagen, opening a studio at a central location on Østergade near Kongens Nytorv.
While Alstrup was by no means an artist, he was a competent tradesman and, unlike some of the more artistic photographers of his day, he could run a profitable business. Constantly investing in new equipment, the quality of his work improved year by year. Indeed, it is estimated he produced some 33,000 dagerreotypes in the 16 years he worked in Denmark.