De Spaarnestad had its own photographic studios. These studios served not only to make the portraits accompanying the stories in the magazines, but also for photographic illustrations. The models were photographed in the clothing the women’s magazines wrote about or that could be made at home with the help of the inserted patterns. The photographers, moreover, had to put their creative imagination to work in order to depict notions such as ‘despair’ when an editor asked for a fitting illustration to accompany his story, or if a new household gadget (a novel type of plunger, for example) had to be shown in the best possible light.
Photographers like W.L. (Pim) Stuifbergen, who was employed by De Spaarnestad from the 1940s through into the 1960s, and Henk Hilterman, who was on De Spaarnestad’s payroll from 1947 until 1987, both worked in the field as well as in the publisher’s own studios. Neither had difficulty in complying with such requests, in spite of the short deadlines they always had to meet. In addition, Henk Hilterman was one of the few Dutch photographers who covered the Vietnam war on the spot in the 1960s. He made background reports for Libelle illustrating the ill effects the war was having on Vietnamese children.