It started out in 2015 when PhotoOp’s founder Henry Arvidsson was looking for a way to exhibit and build the photo community. Even after his pictures had featured in world publications he found it hard to find the possibility to show images to an audience in The Hague, The Netherlands where he then resided. He had pitched galleries but received no feedback, hence the time to apply a bit DIY had come. He made shoutouts on facebook, left fliers in shops and talked to fellow photographers about the idea of “a democratic photo exhibition” welcoming one and all to exhibit and sharing the costs. Soon a dozen had committed, now it was time to find a space. Over a cappuccino at Haagsche Bluf he spotted an empty store in the complex. A chat with the coffee shop owner who also happened to be the driving force behind the business community in the area Henry had a name and a phone number. A call, a showing and a contract later he had the keys. On the morning of the half day event enthusiastic exhibitors hung picture with any means possible. It was a rag-tag and humble beginning visited mostly by friends of the exhibitors. Feeling the buzz and saw lots of room for improvement he looked forward.
A year later PhotoOp moved into a real gallery in the Babylon shopping center thanks to gallerist and history buff Viktor Laurentius who shared golden walls to a larger group of photographers. The exhibition was open for a whole weekend and the exhibitor and visitor numbers grew.
In 2017 as the Babylon shopping center was renovating that door closed. However another opened as a monumental former bank building smack in the center of the city was under the management of Anna Vastgoed and Culture offering short term rental spaces. It was an offer that could not be refused, to exhibit a short stone throw from Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer at the adjacent Mauritshuis. The quality grew amongst the sixteen exhibitors and over 200 visitors came to see over the weekend.
During the summer of 2018 as Henry was about to leave The Netherlands and take the concept to Sweden, Charlie Taylor who had been exhibiting since the first edition, offered to run the show in The Hague. It was the beginning of a fruitful collaboration and Charlie have done the legwork in The Hague and Henry the web-work in Malmö, Sweden since. PhotoOp now rooted at Korte Vijverberg 2, grew again to over twenty-five exhibitors and about 400 visitors.
Meanwhile back in The Hague Charlie suggested an expansion as the response had been so great the previous year. So in October/November PhotoOp opened for two weekends with separate openings. Photographers could exhibit for one or both weekends yet opened up for additional photographers and a bit more room during the exhibition.
The preparations for the 2020 editions are in full swing and we hope to see you there….
PS If you want to exhibit SignUp today DS