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.
Out of nearly 320,000 entries, VII’s Anush Babajanyan and Ashley Gilbertson’s photos were shortlisted for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards (in the Portraiture and Landscape categories, respectively).
From an American dream to an American crisis, Netflix’s new original documentary series, “Flint Town” — the story of Flint, Michigan through the eyes of the city’s police department — explores the struggles of living in a constant state of emergency and the team of underdogs fighting against all odds to save the city.
“Flint Town” was co-directed by Drea Cooper and VII’s Zackary Canepari and Jessica Dimmock.