VII Photo Agency

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VII Photo Agency
FounderGary Knight, John Stanmeyer, Alexandra Boulat, Ron Haviv, Antonín Kratochvíl, Christopher Morris, James Nachtwey
HeadquartersNew York City
Area served
ProductsPhotojournalism, photo agency

VII Photo Agency is an international photo agency wholly owned and governed by its membership.


The cooperative agency was originally conceived by Gary Knight[1] and John Stanmeyer.[2] They were subsequently joined by Alexandra Boulat, Ron Haviv, Antonín Kratochvíl, Christopher Morris, and James Nachtwey[3][4][5] and the agency, named after the number of founding members, was launched at the Visa pour l'image Festival in Perpignan, France, in September, 2001. VII[6] was conceived to operate as a means of digital image distribution and representation wholly owned and controlled by the photographers it represented in response to large corporations acquiring the small photo agencies present in the industry at the time. Today, VII represents 19 photographers who have chronicled significant global events and topics since the late 1970s.

VII established its reputation for news coverage during the war in Afghanistan that followed 9/11 and during the conflict in Israel/Palestine in 2002 and the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

From being principally focused on news for editorial clients, the agency has diversified into social media, live events, video, and creative partnerships with NGOs[7] / colleges / universities, exhibitions in leading museums, featured appearances at major art and photo festivals, and education.

In addition to the 19 current member photographers, young photographers are mentored by full members through the VII Mentor Program and represented by the agency. As of 1 June 2015, Richard Schoenberg,[8] a Los Angeles-based businessman and former VII board member assumed the role of CEO and chairman of the board.

Member list[edit]

Name Based In Member
Jocelyn Bain Hogg  UK 2007–present
Alexandra Boulat (Estate)  France 2001–2007 Founding Member (Deceased)
Sim Chi Yin  China 2014 (interim)[9] – 2016 (full)[10] – 2017 (left)[11]

Stefano De Luigi  France 2007–present
Jessica Dimmock  USA 2007–present
Danny Wilcox Frazier  USA 2015–present
Ashley Gilbertson  Australia 2008–present
Ron Haviv  USA 2001–present Founding Member
Ed Kashi  USA 2001–present
Gary Knight  UK 2001–present Founding Member
Antonín Kratochvíl  Czechia 2001–2018 Founding Member
Joachim Ladefoged  Denmark 2004–present
Davide Monteleone  Italy 2011–present
Christopher Morris  France 2001–present Founding Member
Maciek Nabrdalik  Poland 2008–present
Franco Pagetti  Italy 2007–present
Sarker Protick  Bangladesh 2015–present
John Stanmeyer  USA 2001–present Founding Member
Tomas van Houtryve  Belgium 2010–present
Donald Weber  USA 2007–present

People who have been involved with the VII Mentor Program[edit]

Name Based In
Ali Arkady  Iraq
Poulomi Basu  India
Arthur Bondar [12]  Ukraine
Maika Elan  Vietnam
Cristobal Olivares  Chile


Newest Americans: Stories From the Global City[edit]

Newest Americans is a three-year longitudinal study at Rutgers University–Newark that will document the lives and communities of students at the university and take an in-depth look at immigration and the idea of American identity. It is a collaborative effort involving VII, Rutger’s Center for Migration and the Global City (CMGC)[13] and the Department of Arts, Culture and Media. The project, spearheaded by Tim Raphael, director of CMGC, focuses on immigrant experiences in New Jersey with Newark as the hub where these different stories converge. Notes for My Homeland[14] was produced by Talking Eyes Media [15] and is the first professionally produced piece in the storytelling project.

Evolution Tour[edit]

For the Evolution Tour, photojournalists from VII Photo Agency, along with technical specialists from AbelCine, presented an examination of the evolving business, technology and craft of visual storytelling.[16] This program was structured as a combination of seminars, panel discussions, hands-on workshops and networking.

European Workshops Series[edit]

In 2015, Ed Kashi, Ron Haviv, Marcus Bleasdale, Stefano De Luigi and John Stanmeyer, all members of VII Photo Agency led photography workshops in four European capitals: Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Berlin, as part of the Eyes in Progress's workshops program.[17]

Fatal Neglect[edit]

Through a partnership between VII, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders), and UNION HZ, Fatal Neglect was a multi-part documentary film project, to tell the stories of the millions of patients left behind by the global health revolution.[18] In Fatal Neglect: The Global Health Revolution’s Forgotten Patients, VII documented the impact of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and some of the deadliest neglected tropical diseases: “kala azar,” and “sleeping sickness.” Ron Haviv and John Stanmeyer traveled to capture the stories of frontline health workers trying to fight diseases that affect millions of people and kill hundreds of thousands each year yet garner little attention from drug developers, policy makers or the mass media.

Starved for Attention[edit]

In 2010, MSF and VII launched “Starved for Attention,” a multimedia campaign about childhood malnutrition.[19] Petition signatures were collected from people around the world who joined the partnership in demanding that donor nations stop supplying nutritionally substandard food to malnourished children.


  1. ^ World Press Photo 2014: "We have pulled ten manipulated work", February 14, 2014
  2. ^ The results of the World Press Photo 2014, February 14, 2014
  3. ^ Nachtwey leaves VII, August 2011, archived from the original on September 11, 2011
  4. ^ James Nachtwey, Live from Hell, September 11, 2002
  5. ^ An extensively filmed and photographed event, March 8, 2002
  6. ^ The creation of VII boosts a photojournalism fatigue, September 9, 2001
  7. ^ Photographers minefield, October 4, 2002
  8. ^ VII Photo Adds Danny Wilcox Frazier and Sarker Protick, June 2, 2015
  9. ^ Laurent, Olivier. "Sim Chi Yin Joins VII Photo as an Interim Member". Time. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  10. ^ x-publishers. "A Subtle Place: An Interview with Sim Chi Yin". GUP Magazine. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  11. ^ "Sim Chi Yin investigates the Fallout – British Journal of Photography". British Journal of Photography. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  12. ^ Chernobyl Anniversary: Arthur Bondar Photos Document Life In The Exclusion Zone (PHOTOS), April 26, 2013
  13. ^ Newest Americans
  14. ^ The Power and Passion of Composer Malek Jandali
  15. ^ Talking Eyes Media
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^

External links[edit]