About ZIK Images

Photo editors, journalists, IT specialists, companions of our namesake ZIK and contemporary witnesses form the unique team of ZIK Images. Young Wild & Old Hares. Whether negative stripes, CD-ROMs or 10 terabyte hard disk. We have come together to preserve one of the most comprehensive image archives ever assembled by a single photographer in Europe and make it available to our customers. Our high-quality archive includes not only the usual categories but also one of the largest Cologne image archives nationwide. Our mission and goal is to provide our customers with the most effective image research and to always find the best possible image.

The man who shot pictures that went around the world.

He was a master of his art and had pretty much all the stars that appeared in the Rhineland. He photographed crowned heads as well as the Federal President: ZIK - the phenomenon, the original. His motto: "Attention at any price". For him, only the photo counts. "I never wanted to shoot 08/15 pictures. Anyone can do that. "And just about everyone who has experienced him once has never forgotten him. "Standing in the back row - that's nothing for me," said ZIK. Restraint - a word that does not apply during his work. Famous the photo that ZIK shot during the visit of Lady Di and Prince Charles in 1987 at the reception in Cologne's city hall. The Royal Highnesses held Kölsch glasses and should not be photographed in any way. ZIK did it anyway. "It would have been boring to show that it was just sticky," he said dryly. There was little amusement in the kingdom. ZIK's comment: "Die spinnen, the British."(They are crazy, the British). In 1997 at the Opening of the Anuga Fair by Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl. ZIK roared as he was already on the jump. And shouted "Helmut, Helmut". Kohl turned around, recognized ZIK, went to him and shook his hand. The agency “dpa” photographed the scene and distributed the photo worldwide. In 2003, the then Federal President Johannes Rau "Viva" visited. The music station was located, at this time, in the Cologne Mediapark. ZIK: "Johannes, give these girls a hug and move a little closer." The President answers:" ZIK, you annoy me." And then he moved closer to the ladies. Everything went live via WDR3 TV - and Cologne laughed.


ZIK was everywhere: when the Berlin Wall fell in Berlin, on his roller-skates around the Eiffel Tower and over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. His mailbox says: "ZIK Europe, formerly Köln-Nippes, today worldwide, hello." All this started in the 70s: Alfred Biolek hosted the "Kölner Treff". It was sent from the foyer of the WDR. Beyond the glass façade stood the audience - and ZIK. He gestured until Bio called him in for explanation. ZIK: "When you sit on the bar stool you can see the soles of your shoes - and the price tags that are stuck on them." Biolek thanks him - and makes him his home and court photographer. Mr. Friedriszik is too long for him. From now on he is called ZIK. A Cologne brand like 4711, Millowitsch and the Dom Cathedral.

Cult-Photographer ZIK


US-President Bill Clinton and Cult-Photographer ZIK


1979 "Startschuss" - The photo of Minister of State Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski closely entwined with the Cologne original Trude Herr on a birthday party of the Bundestag President Annemarie Renger. ZIK, who at that time was still called Heinz-Walter Friedriszik, converted his private kitchen into a darkroom and in his bedroom the enlargements were made to deliver picture material even faster. At the end of the 80s, more than 10 ZIK pictures are published daily throughout Germany.

Trude Herr und Hans-Jürgen Wischnewski

1993, Foto Lucas in Cologne

1993 Foto Lucas starts archiving the images and becomes the back-office for ZIK. The cooperation with Owner Rainer Lucas had started already back in the 80s. The contemporary witnesses among you will remember this exactly - about photography in the 80s! Take a movie and wait for a week for the results from the lab. It was a hard ordeal for a layman - but for a professional photo journalist - hell! Since it was almost revolutionary when you could bring your color film to “Foto Lucas” in Rudolfplatz and it was developed in 45 minutes. So, it was only natural that ZIK also began to use this service. Meanwhile, more than 20 ZIK pictures are published worldwide every day.


2009 The requirements in the business changed with time and so “Foto Lucas” became the digital agency XTRASYSTEM. From then on, the junior of the photo entrepreneur takes over the management, which quickly developed a fatherly friendship between ZIK and Maximilian Lucas. So, it was only logical that the junior with fresh and new ideas led the already somewhat aging ZIK on new paths. In addition to the digitization and marketing of the now vast picture archive, the agency looks after artists such as Pietro Lombardi, Sara Joleen or Klaus-Jürgen "Knacki" Deuser. This creates unique synergies between the digital agency XTRASYSTEM and the picture agency ZIK Images.

2011, ZIK and "German Idol"-Winner Pietro Lombardi in the XTRASYSTEM Office

ZIK's last "Selfie" (taken on May 24, 2016)

2016 It was June 1, 2016 when a message shocked Cologne. Around 5 pm the sad news of ZIK's sudden accidental death spread through Germany and the rest of the world. Within a few hours, we received countless messages of condolence and sympathy, and newspapers and TV stations reported ZIK's death. After this sudden loss, it was only consistent and a matter of the heart to name ZIK permanently in the agency name. The name "ZIK Images" not only serves as a tribute to the life's work of this cult photographer but is also as an incentive for our future activities and ventures - to create an image agency far beyond standard agencies.

2019 "ZIK Images" archive will be available online. Now that a suitable and competent software partner for the professional media search, for content portals and providers has been found, we proudly announce our plans for 2019. Our extensive analog archive will be successively digitized in complex procedures at our in-house laboratory with highly professional scanner systems. Our partners and customers can now progressively receive all images - even for those before the start of digital photography in 1998 - as high-resolution scans.

2018, XTRASYSTEM headquarter in Cologne

#Passion for Images