Marcel LEYS is born on 6 July 1933 in Anderlecht (near Brussels)
As an illustration for a school project, in 1952/53, he made a series of photographs of his commune. These were his first attempt as amateur-photographer.
In 1955 he started to work for the Belgian Railways (NMBS) and became a member of their personnel's photo club
'Fotorail Brussel'. This is where he first learned the ropes of the darkroom.
Back in 1960 he already developed his colour photographs in his own lab. He was one of the pioneers of the amateur colour photography in Belgium. He gave demonstrations and lessons in all parts of the country.
In 1967 he became vice-president and in 1971 president of 'Fotorail Brussel'. The same year he was instructed, as a civil servant for the NMBS, to renew and expand the official photo department of the NMBS. He would head this department for more than 15 years.
In 1974 he became the first president of
Fotoclub Westrand, connected to the Cultural Center Westrand in Dilbeek. He will be their president for ten years. He was also involved in the activities of Fotogroup Aesthetica. Together with other members of this group he, on various occasions, would exhibit in the Royal Museum of Art and History in Brussels.
In co-operation with 'Fotogroep 68' from the Netherlands and the 'Remscheider Fotorzirkel' from Germany, Aesthetica organised an exhibition in the
Hoensbroek Castle (NL) and in the BBL headquarters in Hasselt (B).
On the international scene he took part in numerous competitions and salons. In 1967 he was awarded the first prize at
Photeurop in Lausanne and in 1968 in Val de Bièvre (Paris). In 1978 he was given the bronze medal in the Nikon competition. He also received numerous medals, diplomas and had many of his photographs accepted in salons throughout the world.
In 1968 he was awarded the title of
AFIAP, in 1972 became EFIAP and MFIAP in 1995.
About ten of his Agfacontour-photos are shown in the
"Creative Arts Guild Permanent Collection" Museum in Dalton (USA).
He was the guest of honour at various salons, amongst others Auteurop in Paris, Wervik-Sud and others.
Cultural Center Westrand Dilbeek organised a retrospective of his work in 1977.The Cultural Center 'De Schranshoeve" in Zemst invited him to expose his work in 1996.
On invitation of
'Fotoklub Maribor' he exhibited, in 1999, in the 'Fotogalerija Stolp' in Maribor (Slovenia).
At present he is still an active member of photo-club
'Scaldis' (Schellebelle), specialised in sonorised and digitalised slide montages.