The first edition of Photo London was launched at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2004 under the leadership of Daniel Newburg, editor of Pluk Magazine and director of the Artandphotographs Gallery; in 2006, it was acquired by Reed Exhibitions at the initiative of Jean-Daniel Compain.
The fourth edition took place from 31 May to 3 June 2007, with Photo London distinguishing itself from Paris Photo with a programme focusing on contemporary photography since 1970. In choosing this focus, Photo London made the decision to examine and analyse contemporary photography and to be a part of its own era, thus avoiding the pitfalls of historical redundancy and the frustration of overly-discussed images. Instead, Photo London chose to assess the modern changing world of photography.
This 4th edition therefore sought to provide a report on the diversity of contemporary photographic practices, from documentaries to visual images, from digital practices to videotaping, from photojournalism to fashion shots.
Beyond the change in theme, the 2007 edition also saw a change in the location of its exhibition space: it was moved from the Royal Academy of Arts to Old Billingsgate, a 19th century hall which was completely renovated in 1988 by Richard Rogers and is located on the banks of the Thames, near the Tower of London. During the event, it welcomed close to 60 galleries and 10 international publishing houses.
Although Reed Expositions put an end to Photo London in 2008 at the height of the recession, it was relaunched in May 2015 in the colonnaded buildings and neoclassical gazebos of Somerset House by the Candlestar agency.
Photo London is now a success.