VII Photo Agency


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

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


The photographer owned 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 the agency represents 29 members[7] and 10 mentees.

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. Their first assignment was photographing 9/11. James Nachtwey, one of the founding members of VII was packing his bags to go on an assignment for Time Magazine in the Caribbean. He looked out of his window near Wall Street in New York and saw everyone in the street looking up at the sky. He saw flames coming out of the World Trade Center just a few blocks from his apartment. Nachtwey spent the next hours photographing as the Twin Towers collapsed, killing thousands of civilians. The other six founding members of the agency flew from Europe to the USA or to Afghanistan, where they covered the fall of the Taliban, and unimaginable to them at the time, the beginning of America’s longest war. VII focused much of its energy in the ensuing years documenting the wars and violence that followed in the Middle East, wars that have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

From being principally focused on news for editorial clients, the agency has diversified into social media, live events, video, and creative partnerships with NGOs[8] / colleges / universities, exhibitions in leading museums, featured appearances at major art and photo festivals, and education.

In addition to the member photographers, young photographers are mentored by full members through the VII Mentor Program and represented by the agency.The VII Mentor Program was created in 2008 and is the first mentor program of its kind. Former mentees have gone on to build successful careers in the media. Some of them are now members of VII, Noor, and Magnum photo agencies and are working on assignments for publications like The New York Times, Time Magazine, and National Geographic.

In 2018, VII was named in a story by a journalist, Kristen Chick, which was published in the Columbia Journalism Review detailing accusations of sexually harassing behavior by a founding member, Antonin Kratochvil, against former VII members (Anastasia Taylor-Lind and Stephanie Sinclair), and accusations by them of a toxic culture amongst the VII members which enabled such behavior.[9] Kratochvil subsequently resigned from the Agency. As a result of the accusations, VII instated a systemic change in culture, obliging all members and staff to fulfill online HR, compliance and harassment training with Emtrain and created a strict code of ethics for all members and staff.

Member listEdit

Name Based In Member
Ali Arkady   Iraq 2020–present
Anush Babjanyan   Armenia 2017–present
Philip Blenkinsop   UK 2017–present
Jocelyn Bain Hogg   UK 2007–present
Alexandra Boulat (Estate)   France 2001–2007 Founding Member (Deceased)
Eric Bouvet   France 2017–present
Linda Bournane Engleberth   Norway 2018–present
Sim Chi Yin   Singapore 2014 (interim)[10] – 2016 (full)[11] – 2017 (left)[12]
Stefano De Luigi   France 2007–present
Jessica Dimmock   USA 2007–present
Danny Wilcox Frazier   USA 2015–present
Ziyah Gafic   Bosnia 2017–present
Mary Gelman   Russia 2020–present
Ashley Gilbertson   Australia 2008–present
Lauren Greenfield   USA 2002–2008
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
Paul Lowe   UK 2017–present
Davide Monteleone   Italy 2011–2015
Christopher Morris   USA 2001–present Founding Member
Seamus Murphy   Ireland 2017–present
Maciek Nabrdalik   Poland 2008–present
James Nachtwey   USA 2001–2011 Founding Member
Ilvy Nijokiktjen   Netherlands 2017–present
Franco Pagetti   Italy 2007–present
Sarker Protick   Bangladesh 2015–present
Espen Rasmussen   Norway 2020–present
Eugene Richards   USA 2005–2008
Stephanie Sinclair   USA 2009–2017
Daniel Schwartz    Switzerland 2017–present
Nichole Sobecki   USA 2017–present
John Stanmeyer   USA 2001–present Founding Member
Maggie Steber   USA 2017–present
Anastasia Taylor-Lind   UK 2014–2017
Sara Terry   USA 2017–present
Tomas van Houtryve   USA 2010–present
Donald Weber   Canada 2008–2015


Newest Americans: Stories From the Global CityEdit

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 TourEdit

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 SeriesEdit

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 NeglectEdit

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 AttentionEdit

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.

People who have been involved with the VII Mentor ProgramEdit

Name Based In !
Sharafat Ali   India
Juan Pablo Ampudia   Mexico
Ali Arkady (Current Member)   Iraq
Debsuddha Banerjee   India
Poulomi Basu   India
Arthur Bondar [20]   Ukraine
Sim Chi Yin (Current Magnum Photo Member)   Singapore
Kimberly dela Cruz   Philippines
Grace Ekpu   Nigeria
Maika Elan   Vietnam
Nada Harib   Libya
Joshua Irwandi   Indonesia
M'hammed Kilito   Morocco
Jošt Franko   Slovenia
Maciek Nabrdalik (Current Member)   Poland
Cristobal Olivares   Chile
Marko Risovic   Serbia
Anastasia Taylor-Lind   UK
Farshid Tighehsaz   Iran


  1. ^ "World Press Photo 2014: "We have pulled ten manipulated work"", Le, February 14, 2014
  2. ^ "The results of the World Press Photo 2014", Le, February 14, 2014
  3. ^ Nachtwey leaves VII, August 2011, archived from the original on September 11, 2011
  4. ^ "James Nachtwey, Live from Hell", Le, September 11, 2002
  5. ^ "An extensively filmed and photographed event", Le, March 8, 2002
  6. ^ "The creation of VII boosts a photojournalism fatigue", Le, September 9, 2001
  7. ^ "Authors". Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  8. ^ Photographers minefield, October 4, 2002
  9. ^ CJR Special Report: Photojournalism's moment of reckoning, July 16, 2018
  10. ^ Laurent, Olivier. "Sim Chi Yin Joins VII Photo as an Interim Member". Time. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  11. ^ x-publishers. "A Subtle Place: An Interview with Sim Chi Yin". GUP Magazine. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
  12. ^ "Sim Chi Yin investigates the Fallout – British Journal of Photography". British Journal of Photography. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  13. ^ Newest Americans
  14. ^ The Power and Passion of Composer Malek Jandali, 27 January 2015
  15. ^ Talking Eyes Media
  16. ^ "The VII Evolution Tour". Archived from the original on 2015-02-10.
  17. ^ "Visual Storytelling Photography Workshop with Ron Haviv, Berlin". Archived from the original on 2014-12-08.
  18. ^ "Fatal Neglect: The Global Health Revolution's Forgotten Patients | MSF USA". Archived from the original on 2015-05-29.
  19. ^ "Home".
  20. ^ Chernobyl Anniversary: Arthur Bondar Photos Document Life In The Exclusion Zone (PHOTOS), April 26, 2013

External linksEdit

  • VII Photo Agency
  • MSF Fatal Neglect