In 1910, the former Roman Catholic publishing company De Spaarnestad, which had been founded in Haarlem in 1906, acquired the publication rights for the illustrated family magazine Katholieke Illustratie, that had first appeared in 1867. Starting with that take-over, De Spaarnestad had photographers on its payroll in order to meet the public's demand for pictures. Between 1920 and 1965 the number of photographers on the company's payroll gradually increased due to the increasing number of magazine titles De Spaarnestad was publishing, including the family magazine Panorama and the women's magazine Libelle.
The company employed two kinds of photographers: studio photographers and those who worked in the field, although the distinction was not always sharply drawn. Often little is known about the photographers who worked for De Spaarnestad, partly due to a lack of thorough written documentation.