Publishing an illustrated magazine is also a commercial venture. In the 1930s, Het Leven was compiled on the cheap by a chief editor, two editors and two photographers. The majority of the contributions were made by freelance journalists or photographers who were paid by the photo or article. Advertisers could also expect a favorable editorial with photos. This has resulted in the photo archives giving a unique view of all sorts of shops and companies. The customary social conditions of the time have also been recorded, such as child labour in Pope Light Bulb factory in Venlo in 1909.
In these times of no television or internet, sports photography was a way of capturing a large audience. A considerable part of the photo collection of Het Leven is, therefore, comprised of sports photos. The magazine even played a prominent role in organizing sports events such as swimming competitions and marathons. Around 1910, rowing races were very popular. Het Leven also clearly targeted student audiences where most of the rowers were to be found. But the majority of the sports photos in the collection are devoted to soccer. The photo of the qualification match between the Netherlands and Ireland (result 5-2) for the World Soccer Championships in Italy, was made by an unknown photographer. Kick Smit (just visible in dark clothing) made the last goal of the match in the 85th minute in the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam on 8 April 1934.