Carl de Keyser was born in Belgium and studied film and photography at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Ghent, an institution at which he later taught photography. He was co-founder of XYZ Photography, a gallery in Ghent in 1982. In 1989 he became a full-time photographer. He has photographed in India and has received awards in Switzerland, Russia and France. His work has appeared in magazines such as Rolling Stone, Life, Frankfurter Algemeine, Libération, Geo, Knack and Nieuwe Revu.