More than 1000 photos exhibited in the streets of PELT

4th edition of this unique open-air exhibition 4 June - 1 October 2023

The way it all began

Over the past years photography has played an increasingly important role within the Palethe Cultural Center in Pelt. With our own house photographers, the monthly photography circuit and several exhibitions on various themes every year, we have already built up a beautiful tradition.


Our source of inspiration


l’Eté des portraits

In 2014 our festival coordinator Carine Van Gerven, as a photographer, visited the international photography festival L’Eté des Portraits in Bourbon-Lancy, a small village in the French Burgundy region. This photo festival, which was first organized in 2004, has since built up a solid international reputation. Every two years, more than 300 photographers show their portrait photos in the medieval streets of the village. Carine was so impressed by this beautiful event that she started dreaming “This must be possible in my home town …”

Meanwhile the 4th edition of what became the intenational photo festival Lens op de Mens in the city of Pelt are is up and running.​ We are very grateful to L’Eté des Portraits for the inspiration we got from them and for everything we learned from them. We like to see them as a kind of “sister festival”.

More info on


Our partners


‘Lens op de Mens’ unites nature and culture and, even in its first edition, thereby put Pelt on the Belgian and even European map. Lens op de Mens – Fotofestival Pelt vzw is subsidised by the Flemish Government, the municipality of Pelt and the National Lottery. Together with CC Palethe, the vzw, vzw Studio, BREEDBEELD, Lensculture and many helping hands, we make Pelt the place to be for everyone involved with photography.

The vzw and vzw Studio (both national associations of professional photographers) have a large network at home and abroad. As a partner for amateur photographers in Flanders, BREEDBEELD can’t be missing. The idea of launching an international photography festival in Pelt was enthusiastically received by them and many of their members.

Big thanks also go to CVO Cursa, Qrios, GO Next Level X, WICO Campus Overpelt, vzw De Klimroos, Dommelhof, Pelle Melle, Koor en stem Limburg, Province of Limburg, photoclub Digipelt and Fotoclub Houthalen for the collaborations in all kinds of fields.

In 2019 we were visited by Janet Haines from the Royal Photographic Society – RPS from the UK. She was very impressed with our photo festival and was very interested in future collaboration. In 2020 she was succeeded by Carol Olerud and Jeroen Dorrestein as our contact persons within their Benelux Chapter. We are delighted that RPS became an important part of our festival since the 2021 edition. The RPS Benelux Chapter Print Exhibition was featured as one of our guest exhibitions in 2021 and 2023. On Sunday 24 September 2023, as in 2021, we will organise a lecture and workshop together with RPS.

The special exhibition They fight for us too could only come about thanks to the fantastic cooperation with the national professional associations of photographers of Ukraine and the Czech Republic, UAPP and APFCR. With our special thanks to Jan Pohribný and Igor Malijevský (APFCR) and Olga Kovalova, senior project manager, and Mstyslav Chernov, general director of UAPP.

For this 4th edition of 2023, we may use the premises and grounds of the Vakschool, the former site of TIO campus Wico. Our great thanks go to the company Custombuild for this.

We also thank the following companies for their special support and cooperation: Totch (photo prints, banners, canvases, etc.), Milo Profi (photo prints), Colorfields (ChromaLuxe), Shoot Magazine, Guide Schepers from Zupp (designer of the website), Chris Tierney from Infrablue (competition module), Profel, DVV insurances Pelt-Lommel and brewery Mølder and Coöp.

The support of the local catering establishments was also very welcome: Banana Split, ‘t 8ste Sacrament, ‘t Pelterke, ‘t Pittig Baguetje, Da Manu, Fresh, Tafeltijd, Peltri.

From 4 June to 1 October 2023, you should definitely come and take a look at the 4th edition of Lens op de Mens. We warmly welcome you to our beautiful municipality in advance!


Non-profit organization


On July 14, 2020 Lens op de Mens – Fotofestival Pelt was officially recognized as a non-profit organization with enterprise number 0750.633.312.

The board of the organization is composed as follows:

Carine Van Gerven, chairman
Johan Brouwers, vice-chairman and chairman of the competition jury
Rudi Theunis, secretary
Sonja Sleurs, treasurer
Hilde Stevens, curator
Jos Verhoogen, board member