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A photographer who not only looks, but also listens to you!

I am Bob Peeters, infected with the photography virus from the age of 14. That's when I first got to use my father's Rolleicord.... a roll of film of 12 shots did make you think before you printed to take a picture! Setting everything manually. Waiting for the negatives to develop. And then to the darkroom. Luckily, we were given a small room in the basement of the college to print photographs.

Honestly? Much more than a landscape with a cow didn't get photographed in the first few years. I still remember a trip to Greece and Istambul when I was 20: the 12 rolls of slides mostly only showed ruins and stone statues. That would change later. Newly married, I got my first SLR small-frame camera. Little children were a great subject for the lens. But outside holidays and family celebrations, the camera rarely came out of its case. 

A short passage at a photo club taught me the capabilities of the photo studio. Thus, a whole range of people came in front of my lens. Meanwhile, I had entered the digital age. Goodbye to photo rolls. By chance, I came into contact with Moroccan bridal culture and some zianas asked me to photograph their new collection. Concerts and wedding parties also came into focus. A very pleasant introduction to very diverse people from our society.

A whole new world opened up to me in the Academy of Fine Arts, photography studio. Not the technique, the rules, the cameras... but thinking about how form and content can serve an expressive visual language prevailed. One teacher characterised me as a "social documentary" photographer, I myself had never thought of it that way. But working with people had become the common thread in my photography.

In doing so, I put two principles first: respect and authenticity. Respect for the people you portray, but I also expect them to respect my boundaries as a photographer. Authenticity that lets people be how they are. I don't want to take original photos - most images have been taken at some point - but I do want to take images of real, authentic people. Children, men, women, couples, families,... welcome! 

It was only after I turned 60 that I took the step of registering as a professional photographer. Who could have thought that a few years ago I would become the owner of a professional photography studio in Turnhout? At Photo Studio Image22, I work as a photographer myself but also receive guest photographers who rent this space to carry out a project. 

And sometimes you really do get lucky. A few years ago, I became the permanent photographer of Dance Waves Competition, a non-profit organisation that organises dance competitions in theatre with jury throughout Belgium and the Netherlands. Ballet, Modern dance and Hiphop are featured there in all age categories.

At the repeated request of some clients, I recently got into video production. Especially recording and editing multicam footage for interviews, instruction videos, music clips,... are on the menu. The years of experience with camera and lighting settings now come in handy. The photo studio also proves excellent for shooting certain video projects. 

Do you also have an idea in your head? Don't hesitate to submit it. Together, we will work out the project in photography or video storytelling. 

Bob Peeters