Marco Mertens


Marco MertensMarco Mertens studied photography at the Narafi college in Brussels. As a boy born in Maasmechelen, at first he was not convinced that he could ever become a photographer. He started his career as a rock photographer and soon got names like Madonna, The Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam in front of his lens. Later on he focused on making portraits. Many well known but also unknown people are immortalized by him, the only condition: they always have a story to tell. He is the winner of the Nikon Press Photo Award 2006 and has been the ambassador of Leuven since 2010 as a city photographer. For many years he has provided the cover photo for the CC Palethe program brochure.

As a guest photographer, Marco shows an overview of 25 years as a portrait photographer. The photos are taken for Humo, Nieuwsblad, De Standaard, De Morgen, Goedele, Feeling, etc …

“I am a portrait photographer, that’s clear. Other assignments can also be fun, as long as there are people on the pictures. Sometimes you see nude pictures of women being draped on a rock, next to the beach, and turning their face away, showing the body only. I love naked bodies, that’s obvious, but they must have their head turned towards me.”



Sonja Sleurs


Sonja Sleurs (’57) from Pelt graduated in photography from the urban art academy of Mol. The man and his passion for theater and music are at  the focus of all her images
She exhibits photos she took in CC Palethe where she is the staff photographer for several years now.




Sadegh Souri | Gold Award Professional Photographers


Sadegh SouriSadegh Souri is an Iranian freelance photographer, born in 1985. His work has been awarded many times at home and abroad. His winning picture of the 2017 edition comes from a series of ‘No mercy for the children’ and received an Honorable Mention from UNICEF in their Photo of the Year Competition in 2015. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child who comes into contact with the court should also be treated as a child. And that right is unfortunately being violated in many countries. Sadegh managed to take pictures of female offenders in a juvenile detention center near Teheran. Some of them risk the death penalty for accusations such as drug possession and armed robbery. As the only concession to international pressure, these executions can only be carried out when the offenders have turned 18. The winning image of 2017 is a clear accusation against these practices. The photo tells a story of fear, shame, uncertainty, powerlessness … The jury was very impressed by the enormous impact of this image.


About his pictures exhibited in CC Palethe:

Water, Wind, Soil, Drought

Photo 1: Hamed studies in 5th grade elementary school and despite the sandstorm, he has to go to school. After the increase in the particles’ density in the morning, he was forced to return home.
Photo 2: Drought, drastic climate change, and its consequences have turned large areas of the province into deserts without any inhabitants, and according to the statistics, 25% of Sistan and Baluchistan Province population have immigrated to the neighbouring provinces during the past few years.

Fuel Smuggling

Photo 3: On the impassable paths where donkeys cannot take loads, fuel smugglers carry diesel barrels by hand.
Photo 4: During the past month, the police have fired at Abu Bakr’s car 3 times, but he has survived each time. In the last shooting, 4 bullets hit the windscreen.

Water, Wind, Soil, Drought, Fuel Smuggling

Photo 5: The father of the family did farming before the recent droughts. Because of this situation, he goes to Tehran to work. Separation from wife and children forces him to return. After returning to Mir Javeh, he begins smuggling fuel. According to his daughter, he’s shot and killed by the police on his first trip. Many families in the border regions in the southeast of Iran have lost their breadwinner.


Anna Ajtner | Silver Award Professional Photographers


Polish photographer who lives in the Netherlands. In 2017 she won the Silver Award in the professionals category with a photo of her daughter Sandra.

About Anna Ajtner

Anna AjtnerI started my artistic education in the years 1989 – 1993 at the State College of Fine Arts in Bydgoszcz (Poland) where I obtained the title of technician of the art, with the specialization of organizing exhibitions. In the years 1993 – 1998 I studied artistic pedagogy at the Faculty of Visual Arts at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun (Poland). I graduated there and in 1998 I obtained my Master’s degree in painting. After graduation I developed my artistic activities in the field of painting, photography and video.

About my photography

My photography consists of a series of portraits of my daughter Sandra. This is a project that I have been working on since 2006. My daughter is the main subject of my work, she is my inspiration. Her childhood, how she grows up, her beauty, how all this changes, her state of mind, her living environment. All this influenced the final result of my photos. Ultimately, this also records our mother / daughter relationship. It is both a documentary and an artistic creation. In this context, I hope that viewers can feel the influence of the world around us on our emotions.

This is our story. Most of my photos are in black and white but you can also find color accents in them. Every photo in this series can also be considered as a separate work.


Ken Pimontel | Bronze Award Professional Photographers


Ken Pimontel is a professional photographer. His passion is to make timeless large-scale portraits of both real people and characters in a fictional story. In his way of taking photographs he opts for thorough preparation, pure lighting, classical composition and a sensitive color palette.

During the 2017 edition of the photo festival one of Ken’s pictures was displayed on a very large format on the facade of the town hall. A real eye-catcher of the festival.



Marc Apers | Gold Award Amateur Photographers


Freelance photographer, always looking for typical black and white subjects with an emphasis on shapes and structures, light and dark, sun and shadow. Subjects where color is not very important. These subjects can be found in the human face and more specifically in the eyes, the “soul” of man. My portfolio therefore mainly consists of black and white portraits. Making portraits of people in their natural environment is the subject that interests me the most. For me, people are an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Many say that I possess a natural ability to approach people appropriately and thus persuade people to pose in front of my lens. A judgment that I leave to you, I know that it is extremely important to always show respect and sincere interest for the person portrayed. That is why I never make a portrait without first starting a small conversation with the people I meet. I openly and honestly introduce myself to them as if I am one of them. A wink, a short chat and a smiling face will convince them to pose for me. The greatest pleasure, however, is that afterwards they sometimes tell me their entire life story. Combining emotion and story in one image is my ultimate goal.

An overview of my current work can be admired on the photo site for which I also act as one of the moderators without obligation.


Mieke De Haas | Silver Award Amateur Potographers


Mieke De HaasMieke de Haas (1956)
Bladel, The Netherlands

I love photography and traveling of course. Together with my husband I have made many long journeys. There is a limit to traveling, but photography can be done infinitely. Landscapes is certainly my interest. But I am also always looking to photograph outside the box. There is still plenty of challenge.

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it”. (Ansel Adams)

Brief explanation of the photos on display:
People in their own environment.
People are often busy or on the road. Every culture does this in its own way. I want to show this by focusing on people in their own environment.
Photo locations: North Sri Lanka and South China.


Brigitte Van der Voorde | Bronze Award Amateur Photographers


Brigitte Van der Voorde
Brigitte Van der Voorde
Ternat, Belgium



A brief explanation about the photos

The photos are a preludium of my book #WETWO that will be published in June 2019.
# WETWO are double portraits.
The idea of ​​making double portraits has grown from the following line of thinking: Suppose you are all alone on the earth, then you cannot perceive the mirror of your soul because you have no benchmarks.
You need a spectator to convey communication and feelings, a second person.
Two people can also mirror each other, boost their behavior and become better people.
If two people practice positive behavior towards each other, others and others, then the world gets better and every time squared.
One way to look at each other or to interact with each other is through the windows of the soul.
But which soul do you see now?
That of the owner or that of the viewer?
After all, I am the viewer as a photographer.
#WETWO I assume that the world is my mirror.
Perception is projection.
#WETWO is, in contrast to #metoo, not a charge but a behavior, a way of life.


Stefanie Smeets | Most Promising Young Photographer under 30 years of age


Stephanie Smeets

The jury of the 2017 edition praised the work of this young photographer for her originality and creative approach.
The series of photos that Stéphanie sent in for the festival shows her own bold style and a good command of photographic techniques.




Didier de Daniloff | Most Creative Photography


Didier deDaniloff selfThe 2017 edition award-winning photo of Didier was praised for its original lighting, the sophisticated composition that shows an almost perfect symmetry, the sculptural effect. Like a flower that can open any moment. No lack of creativity.

The man behind the success of Daniloff Fine Art Photography is Didier de Daniloff. In 2002 this photographer turned his passion into his profession. His business in Kortemark made name and fame, and he focused on his specialty: people photography. In 2013 he moved to Roeselare in the heart of West Flanders, where he built a brand new photo studio with modern technologies and top-quality accommodation.


WPC – Belgian selection for the World Photographic Cup 2019


Logo WPC

In the cafeteria of CC Palethe we show you the Belgian selection for the World Photographic Cup 2019.

This international competition is also called the Olympic Games of Photography.

For the 2019 edition, 32 country teams from 4 continents registered.



Service Centre Pelle Melle


Saffron Photo Festival, Iran


Iran is the world’s largest producer of saffron with 95 percent of the total production value. 41 countries on the planet are buyers of Iranian saffron.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Since it has a high added value, it has a great importance for the economy of Iran. The main importing countries of Iranian saffron are the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland.

The cities of Torbat Heydarieh and Zaweh have the highest production of saffron in the world. The annual turnover of saffron in the world is over $8 billion. The major economies of families living in Torbat Heydarieh are dependent on this product. Dubai is one of the main sources of import and export of this product in the world, and the link to introduce Iranian saffron to Europe and the world.

The National Festival of Saffron, Torbat Heydarieh and Zaweh, has been hosted by Torbat Heydarieh and Zawah cities, Razavi khorasan Province in eastern Iran for four years. This festival is held in the form of a live competition at the same time as the harvesting of saffron flowers. So far, more than 500 famous Iranian photographers have visited and photographed the saffron farms, saffron flower markets, and packaging companies for the festival. The Secretariat of the Festival has more than 10,000 photos in the gallery.

At the Pelle Melle service center we show a selection of about 20 images taken during the different festivals.

This special exhibition is organised in cooperation with Mojtaba Abdoulrahimkhan, curator of several photo festivals in the Middle-East.


Service Centre Pelle Melle


The jury | Johan Brouwers, chairman (BEL)

I like to capture the image of people as they occur spontaneously. No deliberate or requested poses. Snapshots in which their glance, their attitude often tells a lot about what they think, including me.


The jury | Patrizia Burra (ITA)

Donna Peixote.

The project was carried out in an empty house in Rotterdam. The setting, full of magic and history, led me to create images that evoke the dream. The huge windows gave off a perfect natural light to illuminate the subject and to give a mild prominence of light and shadow to the entire scene. The basic idea was to portray the characters as dreamy individuals, lost within their own imagination, in a unique vision and sharing the same space. I tried to turn on hopes of paving the way to the desires, to seize the soul hidden behind the eyes of my models.


The jury | Patrick Ceyssens (BEL)

Does not exhibit.


The jury | Zjuul Devens (BEL)

Visual artist, photographer, filmmaker, graduated in Visual Arts and Photography. He was lecturer in audiovisual communication and multimedia at the Plantijn Hogeschool of the Province of Antwerp, department of communication management.

He exhibits both nationally and internationally, individually and in group. This is done with photographic work, video installations, slide projections, video, but also with sculpture and installations.

He also collaborates with and for other visual artists, dancers, musicians, theater makers. As a professional photographer, he was a devil-doing-all. Passionate macro photographer. Now he is mainly concerned with the theme of transience. He likes to give dead half-decayed insects a “new life”.

As a volunteer for Child Help, he also photographs and films in Africa. There he discovered the love for documentary photography.

For him, photography and art are a part of his life.


The jury | Andy Hens (BEL/DEU)

To disclose the nature of man through photographs, that is the highest art of photography.

Usually people just look after a photo. People rarely look into it.


The jury | Jim Lowe (GBR)

Jim has been a professional photographer for 40 years, during which time he has worked for the UK’s Ministry of Defence, Portsmouth Polytechnic & Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company. The majority of his images are now captured using digital technology, but he also undertakes assignments using close-up and macro photography using large format cameras. He is well known for his black and white landscapes for which he uses traditional film, hand printing them to exhibition quality. These have been acquired by collectors as far afield as Japan, India, South Africa, Canada and The Republic of Ireland as well as the UK and Europe (London, Moscow, Bath, Wiltshire and Cornwall).

From 2009-2018, as well as continuing with his other activities, Jim, has been lecturing at Falmouth University, Cornwall on The Marine and Natural History Course and was made Award Leader in September 2012.

Jim Lowe was a Vice-President of the Federation of European Photographers from 2000 to 2010 and is currently Chairman of their Qualifications Board. He was amongst the first European Professional Photographers to achieve the FEP, QEP distinction in Architecture and from the 45 British photographers who have gained this qualification is the only one qualified and practising Architectural Photography.


The jury | Jos Verhoogen (BEL)

If I have to find one constant topic, it has to be man himself. Man is in the centre in most of my pictures. Whether it is a famous artist or a mother to be, it is always a challenge to find the right link. A feeling of trust which allows you to make powerful pictures. Pictures that mean more than just the right light or the perfect focus.

Swimming Pool Dommelslag


Carla Kogelman


Carla Kogelman © Sonja LiebhartTHE BATH

The HET BAD series consists of a number of photos taken in the last months of the Amersfoort sports fund pool. Photographed in the period from March to November 2017. The 80-year-old bath would be demolished, a new bath would come.

I swam my laps every morning at 7 a.m. and always met many different groups. And I became curious about them. This was the reason to spend months in the bath with a camera and to follow various groups: from paralympic swimmers to synchronized swimmers. HET BAD is a selection of images from this period.

Carla Kogelman (1961) worked for 25 years in the theater industry. In 2008 she changed course and went to the Photo Academy Amsterdam. She graduated with Joost van den Broek, specializing in documentary / journalism / portrait. A month later she won the Silver Camera with portraits of actors back stage. Kogelman wins many prestigious prizes including 2 x World Press Photo, 6 x the Silver Camera, the Happiness on the Move Award in Cortona, 2 x Alfred Fried Photography Award and the SO 2013 Award.

Her black and white portraits are an illustration of the daily life. Poetic, timeless and recognizable. Close and pure. She is fascinated by the quirky world of children and the backstage world of theater, film and sport.

Kogelman is commissioned to work for magazines and newspapers, gives masterclasses and workshops at home and abroad and supervised candidates in the Italian Master of Photography alongside Steve McCurry and Martin Parr. She is also working on her own projects. In November 2018, her book I AM WALDVIERTEL.

Carla Kogelman’s signature is unmistakable: she captures the daily lives of children in a natural yet penetrating way. Her strength lies in long-term projects. By always coming back to the same families, she gets a good insight into their personal atmosphere and the opportunity to grab special moments in a casual way. With her project ICH BIN WALDVIERTEL in which she follows the two Austrian sisters Hannah & Alena, she twice won the first prize at World Press Photo (2014 and 2018) in the observed portraits and long term project categories respectively.

“With Carla we return joyfully to a world where we are never bored, rediscovering the freshness and spontaneity of childhood. She meets the challenge with a poetic balance that avoids any voyeurism or sentimentality.”
Jury statement, World Press Photo 2018 – 1st prize long term project

“Carefree, honest, unpretentious, incorruptible. What you see in Carla’s black-and-white photographs is an era of inquisitiveness, cheerfulness and warmth. It makes you melancholic and calm. These are moments of sheer magic that Kogelman has captured. Moments of a pristine nature, intact. Children splash around in the lake, romp through the garden, wade through the mud. Free, uninhibited, inspired, buoyed up by life, air, twilight. They play freely, explore nature, look for earthworms, snails and salamanders. Unbound, they fly through the air, play in the house, laughing. In harmony with nature, often naked. Fairies and fauns appear, dancing in front of Kogelman’s lens. This is what peace looks like. Kogelman hits the nerve of our times: a longing for the past and for slowness in a world of superficial speed. In her pictures she evokes a diffuse lightness of being.”
Jury statement, winner 2015 Alfred Fried Photography Award

With a selection of 8 pictures Carla won the ‘storytelling categoriy’ at the World Water Day Photo Contest – WWDPHC

Silver Camera Foundation: 1st prize in Sport with a series about the Dutch paralympic swimmers




Caroline Alida


Caroline Alida has long had a special interest in people on the fringes of society.

In her Bori / Healers of the soul portrait series she brings healers / prophets from Niger, West Africa (2010, FOMU, Antwerp). In this mainly Islamic country, they live in marginality. These black-and-white portraits can be seen in the book BORI / Healers of the Soul / Guérisseurs de l’âme, published by 5Continents, Milan.

In her next photo album Hearing Songs in Pine Trees, Caroline Alida creates a symbiosis between a vegetative and a special human world with photo diptychs. She combines images of nature with intimistic portraits of healers / seers / mediators, this time from Eastern Siberia, the birthplace of shamanism.

In all her photo series, she portrays people who live in some way or another in marginality. Her photos are pure, often in black and white and only with the natural light to create an intriguing and intimistic atmosphere.

Picture by © Isabelle Vandewalle


Public Library Neerpelt


Isabel Corthier


Isabel Corthier is a Belgian freelance documentary photographer who works internationally for humanitarian organizations.

Her work has been used for fundraising campaigns and communications for NGO’s such as  Caritas, Trias, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF – Doctors without Borders), Vredeseilanden (VECO), Louvain Coopération, Ondernemers voor Ondernemers, Solid International and more…

Isabel’s work has been exhibited in China (Lishui, Pingyao), India (Calcutta), France (Barrobjectif), and Belgium, and some of her pictures have won awards. In 2014 she received the EP European Photographer certificate.

Free Yourself

In 2019, it will be 25 years since Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa. A milestone in history.

“Free yourself” is a series of portraits made in one of the oldest township of the Western Cape in South Africa, called Vrygrond. I focus on the young generation, born in the 1990s, who grew up with hopeful anticipation for a better life than their parents who lived under apartheid. In reality, they are faced with a corrupt government and a difficult situation in the townships where unemployment, crime, and drug abuse is high. While apartheid may have ended, its consequences are still part of daily life.

I show young people who fight against their circumstances, according to the principles of Mandela: “Free yourself, free others, serve every day.” By developing their talents, they are lifting themselves out of poverty. They have become role models for the youngsters in their community and make a positive contribution to society.
Some have started social projects to keep youngsters off the street.

Although these young people play an important role in the community, their talents and achievements often remain under the radar. This is often due to the living conditions in Vrygrond and the lack of access to networks.

Through these photographs I hope to let them briefly stand on a stage that rises up from the unpolished background of the township. Each of the people featured in these images is strong, proud, and self-confident in a unique and authentic way. These young people are the future of South Africa and they are making a change. They might even be an inspiration to all of us.

Vrygrond, Cape Town, South Africa, 2018

The series “Free yourself” was published in December 2018 in National Geographic Magazine NL.


Residential and care center St. Joseph


Wendy Marijnissen


Wendy Marijnissen is a freelance documentary photographer from Belgium. Intuition and personal interests have always played a major role in her work and naturally guided Wendy to her subjects.

In 2008 she completed a long-term reportage in Israel and Palestine, using music to show a different side of daily life in this violent and conflicted region.In the summer of 2009 she covered the East-Jerusalem evictions and later that year traveled to Pakistan for the first time. For the following 3 years she worked in Pakistan focusing mainly on photographing the hardships of pregnancy and childbirth there. From fistula, traditional midwives to a camp pregnancy after the devastating flood in 2010 which displaced millions of people in the country. A part of this work was used for the ‘End fistula campaign’ of the UNFPA.

In 2012 she traveled to Afghanistan for the first time to document the lives of women in this warn torn country and photographed Fawzia Koofi, the then first female presidential candidate. A year later she worked with Doctors Without Borders in Tajikistan on children with TB and in Belgium she produced a series ‘Us/Them’ on Muslim women and the headscarf issues in her country. The project was a part of the European group project ‘The rise of populism in Europe’, produced by Fotodok.

In 2015 she returned to Pakistan twice to continue working on what now became ‘Always the guest’, her first photo book.
She founded the non profit organisation ‘Bending The Frame’, which tries to create new platforms and finds ways to bring strong photography out into the world.

She was a finalist for the Fotovisura Grant for Outstanding Personal Photography project 2010 and received an honorable mention at the Photocrati Fund 2011 Grant. In 2012 she was a finalist in the Save the children photo competition. Her work has appeared in media like Le Monde, Arte, De Standaard, L’Express, De Tijd, De Morgen, The Jordan Times, The Eyes, Le Vif/L’Express, Worldpulse, ..

© Wendy Marijnissen – All rights reserved | +32 498 496131 |


Provincial Domain Dommelhof


Selection of BREEDBEELD


BREEDBEELD helps image-makers grow and supports, informs, inspires en connects everybody who photographs, films or makes media art in a non-professional capacity! It doesn’t matter if you’re a photographer, an instagrammer, a short filmmaker or a designer of virtual reality worlds: we are there to support you and your creativity. We offer you inspiration, information, feedback, a community and a stage or wall for your work.

The exhibition is two-fold. For the first part, BREEDBEELD puts four former speakers of ‘BREEDBEELD in gesprek’ in the spotlight. The second part of the exhibition, composed from an open call, brings together the work of fifteen photographers in a black room that, like a black box records and preserves all the data of an aircraft, envelops the many sides of man and human whims .
This black box of humanity mainly reveals mystery and poetry. Through their “lens on man”, the selected photographers question the “condition humaine” each in their own way. Various themes such as love, humor, physicality, surrealism and memory form a common thread that continues to conceal and reveal “being human” in an unceasing movement. The exhibition is curated by Yirka De Brucker.

This exhibition shows the work of the following 19 photographers:

Viviane Decock, Jeffrey De Keyser, Ton Dirven, Neoza Goffin, Clara Hanssens, Tom Herbots, Niyana Khamouli, Dimitri Lefere, Nora Mecibah, Sebastian Steveniers, Annick Timmermans, Ilja Vandenbroucke, Kristin Van den Eede, Guido Van den Troost, Stephanie Vandeput, Marko Van der Steenhoven, Sam Vanoverschelde, Eddy Verloes, Marie-Thérèse Willemsen

Practical information:

  • Start of the exhibition: Saturday 6th July, 19.00 h.
  • Exhibition until the end of August:
    – Every working day 08.30 h – 17.00 h.
    – Extra open on Sundays 7th july, 4th August and 1st September from 14.00 h – 17.00 h.
    • Location: Provinciaal Domein Dommelhof, Toekomstlaan 5, 3910 Neerpelt
    • Free entrance.