VII is a storied photo agency founded a few days before 9/11 to challenge the convergence in the photography business when the trend for giant companies swallowing smaller independent agencies started. VII went small and photographer-owned, believing in the power and energy of collective effort when everyone else seemed to be going big and corporate. VII remains a disruptive and innovative business unafraid to swim against the prevailing currents.

VII has turned its gaze far from the frontline of its foundation. It has earned a reputation for uncompromising photography immersed in the great issues of today. VII photographers and filmmakers are as likely to be found focusing on race, gender, and identity as they are on migration or conflict. Amplifying local voices and addressing the complex political, environmental, and social questions facing families everywhere, VII places great value in the power of images to tell important stories. The members of VII are motivated by issues and are proud to elevate those issues above the cult of the image or the cult of the photographer.

Do Not Be Ashamed

Mary Gelman’s new personal project about fat-shaming and fatphobia in Russia was published on Takie Dela. “Do Not be Ashamed” shares the stories of people of different genders, sexual orientations, and professions who have experienced, or are still experiencing, prejudice due to their weight. 

Oli, St. Petersburg, Russia (seen above). “I was always fat and had various problems. It started in kindergarten. There was a girl who set others up against me. At school, they called me “hippo”, “fat” and started fights.

Most of my life I lived with my grandmother. She always said that I was special and life would be hard for me. She asked if I had friends and how others relate to me. I basically only spoke to people on the Internet, because they did not see how I looked, and I felt inferior.

By adolescence, other family members began to pay attention to my weight. Until the age of 16, I was bought clothes that I didn’t like — they were ugly and covered my whole body. I was terribly embarrassed about myself and always walked past the mirrors. I did not love myself, because I could not express myself as I wanted.

Later, at the university, I found a circle of people who did not humiliate or criticize me for the way I look. I photographed myself on the phone and participated in the filming of other photographers, learned about feminism and body positive. My attitude towards myself began to change. People still look askance in my direction, I get a lot of terrible comments on social networks, but now I don’t care.”

Maggie Steber Wins Lucie Award

maggie steber wins lucie award
At the 17th Annual Lucie Awards, Emeritus Member Maggie Steber was honored with a Lucie Award for her achievement in photojournalism at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Lucie Awards is the premiere annual event honoring the greatest achievements in photography and is the signature program of the Lucie Foundation.
fred ramos
On assignment for The Washington Post, Fred Ramos’ photography helps explore why disappearances are soaring in El Salvador

“Three decades after a brutal civil war characterized by never-explained, never-resolved disappearances, Salvadorans are again vanishing.

The phenomenon is resurrecting one of the most chilling elements of Cold War Latin America. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, tens of thousands of people disappeared as right-wing governments — many supported by the United States — fought to extinguish leftist insurgencies.

These days, countries such as Mexico, Brazil and El Salvador are battered by criminal wars. The governments aren’t fighting Marxist guerrillas, but gangs and drug cartels instead.

In Mexico, more than 3,000 clandestine gravesites have been unearthed as families search for the 40,000 missing. In El Salvador, few of the burial sites have been found. 

Which is why, when the government discovered one outside the capital last month, TV reporters rushed to the scene — and dozens of families began to wonder if their mystery would finally end.”

 

“Fire in Paradise” on Netflix

“Fire in Paradise,” a documentary directed by Drea Cooper and VII’s Zackary Canepari, will be released by Netflix on November 1.

On the morning of November 8, 2018, a seemingly small fire broke out in Butte County, California near the town of Paradise. Over the course of a few short hours, the Camp Fire grew into the country’s deadliest wildfire in over a century, killing 85 people and destroying Paradise. Through first-hand footage of the disaster and personal interviews with survivors and emergency responders, “Fire in Paradise” vividly retells the terrifying survival stories from that day.

Contact us

VII Photo Agency

PO Box 621
Manville, NJ
08835

+1 646-694-8447
info@viiphoto.com

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Redux Pictures
research@reduxpictures.com
+1 212-253-0399

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VII Photo Store

The VII Online Bookstore features rare, limited edition, and signed photography books by the photographers of VII.

Photographers

Members

  • Anush Babajanyan
  • Zackary Canepari
  • Jessica Dimmock
  • Linda Bournane Engelberth
  • Danny Wilcox Frazier
  • Ziyah Gafic
  • Mary Gelman
  • Ashley Gilbertson
  • Ron Haviv
  • Ed Kashi
  • Maciek Nabrdalik
  • Ilvy Njiokiktjien
  • Nichole Sobecki

Emeritus

  • Jocelyn Bain Hogg
  • Philip Blenkinsop
  • Eric Bouvet
  • Stefano De Luigi
  • Gary Knight
  • Joachim Ladefoged
  • Paul Lowe
  • Christopher Morris
  • Seamus Murphy
  • Franco Pagetti
  • Espen Rasmussen
  • Daniel Schwartz
  • Maggie Steber
  • John Stanmeyer
  • Sara Terry
  • Tomas van Houtryve
  • The Estate of Alexandra Boulat

Mentor Program

  • Taha Ahmad
  • Forough Alaei
  • Ali Arkady
  • Zinyange Auntony
  • Leonardo Carrato
  • Fabiola Ferrero
  • Swarat Ghosh
  • Hector Guerrero
  • Christopher Lee
  • Esther Ruth Mbabazi
  • Fred Ramos
  • Prin Rodriguez
  • Valentina Sinis
  • Line Ørnes Søndergaard
  • Mathias Svold
  • Nolan Ryan Trowe

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