What began as a one-time event in 2015, has since become a biennial conference. In 2019, the third edition, sold out in weeks and we had participants from all over the world and a long waiting list for those who were late.

“2and3D Photography is about sharing. Sharing knowledge, experience and reaching out.”

In 2011, during the first international AHFAP-conference in Brighton, James Stevenson, then AHFAP chair, and I realized that the heritage photography world needed an international platform. We wanted to create an opportunity for cultural heritage photographers and studio managers to meet and exchange knowledge and experiences with presentations and workshops. It took another four years before we actually could receive the first participants in the Rijksmuseum. Management gave us permission to organize the conference on the condition that the program would be focused on future developments. That is how the title 2and3D Photography – Practice and Prophecies came about.

During that first conference we also had one other very important mission. We wanted an agreement on a standardized studio protocol, so that we all would follow corresponding guidelines. We wanted Metamorfoze and Fadgi implemented as mandatory guidelines for the photography of 2D-objects and at least some standardization with neutral backgrounds and fixed positions for the photography of 3D-objects. That became the Amsterdam Principles, which were agreed to, almost unanimously, at the end of the 2015-conference.

At that time, we had already realized that our profession was in a state of flux and that the old days of the traditional object photography were over. We had to make collections digitally accessible and keep up with new scientific and technical demands.

One of my eyeopeners was the moment that Rob Erdmann, program committee member, remarked: “Cecile this is not a moving train we’re on; it’s a bullet”. For the 2017 edition we expanded the title of the conference to 2and3D Photography – Practice and Prophecies and Beyond.

The 2015 conference was a success and we were pleasantly surprised by the great enthusiasm for a second edition.

We have always aimed to invite key role players in our heritage field in color management, 3D-scanning and photography, amazing digitization projects, scientific photographic breakthroughs, artificial intelligence, color management and large studio projects. Our keynotes for all three editions were an introduction to the themes of the conference. In 2015 we had Jan de Bont, cameraman and renowned film director, as a keynote speaker with a presentation about how going digital seemed to have solved all his problems when it came to standardization, but the opposite was true. The film industry ran into the same issues. In the second edition we invited Eddy van Wessel, a Dutch renowned and prizewinning photojournalist. For an audience for whom photographic technical knowledge is essential, he explained that for him technology is secondary. Different worlds and both operating at the highest level.

In the 2019 edition we teamed up with The Prince Claus Fund which, as one of its main missions, provides aid to cultural heritage threatened, damaged or destroyed by conflict or disaster with the Cultural Emergency Response (CER) program. An appropriate choice after the fire in 2018 of the Brazil National Museum in Rio de Janeiro and the fire of the Notre Dame in Paris just weeks before. We were very proud to have HRH Prince Constantijn Honorary Chair of the Board as our keynote speaker.

Due to Corona the 2021 edition had to be postponed and was replaced by an online edition. In 2022 we will have another online event and we are looking into the possibilities to have a hybrid conference in 2023. As always, we shall keep you posted.