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ID/ photo agency was founded in 2010 by Lieven Van Assche and Joost De Bock, both press photographers. With this initiative, they intended the following two things: to put an end to the decreasing prices of press photos and to make sure that the copyrights remain with the photographer. Besides that, they were trying to find an affordable and reliable way to make their photo archive available for themselves and for potential clients.
Lieven (°1976) started working as an assistant for a local photographer at the age of 15. In 1997, after his studies, he started working as a freelancer for the Belgian press agency Belga and other media. Lieven is responsible for the day-to-day business, the contact with clients and photographers, and for the finances within ID/. He is the father of three amazing children, plays volleyball and is a 'would be' cyclist.
Joost (°1975) started working as a photographer for the former newspaper 'Het Volk' during his studies in Visual Arts. The last 15 years, he mainly shot portraits and foreign reports for the biggest newspaper in Belgium: 'Het Laatste Nieuws'. Joost is responsible for the technical aspect within ID/ and for any other crazy ideas that might pop up. He makes sourdough bread and is a dedicated owner of two cats, a turtle and a couple of thousand bees.
ID/ photo agency wants photographers to determine who can use their work and to which rate. By using minimum rates, the work of the members is sold at the best prices. Moreover, the photographer receives 90% of the selling price. With this fair trade principle, ID/ photo agency goes against the cheap selling of photography.
ID/ photo agency offers its members an internet platform where they can manage their entire archive and distribute it towards professional and private clients. Whereas photos used to get lost on CD-rom's or external hard drives, they are now given a new live to reach the audience they deserve.
The search for photos on ID/ photo agency is free and anonymous, however it is better for professional clients to register. This helps us to suggest a tailor-made rate. In doing so, we make sure both client and photographer get the best value for their money.
During the Gentse Feesten ,Lieven and Joost discuss their practical issues as freelance photographers - while drinking several beers-. How can you sell your photos easily and how can you access your archive everywhere in the world? They decide to put words into action, to come up with a solution and to create 'something'. After that, they decided to get another beer.
But how do you start that 'something'? So many things need to put in order: software, a server, photographers that clearly see the benefits of the idea and most of all, clients. Luckily, there is no lack of good photos.
A division of tasks is set. Lieven handles the business side, Joost takes care of everything technical.
Of course, that 'something' also needs a name. Imagedesk.be is born on January the 8th 2010 at13:31.
And the craziest part of it all, Lieven and Joost require a start-up capital: each €500.
While lines of code were being added to the system, Lieven and Joost went to cafés in Antwerp, Brussels and Ghent to meet photographers and propose their brand new idea.
Did you know that photographer Bart Dewaele was the very first member?
With each café they visit, more members join Imagedesk. And on the other side, clients also seem ecstatic with all the new material. By 2013, more than 50 photographers joined Imagedesk and 200 companies and private persons became clients.
Imagedesk was brought under a new company: ImageOffice. For the fourth year in a row, the sales are growing with more that 20%. For the first year, the turnover of assignments is greater than the archive sales. We are now all grown up.
Imagedesk changes its name. ID/ photo agency stands for what we have become: a worthy photo agency with an identity, a heart for photographers and publishers and above all, fair trade.