September 28th, 2011

VII Photo Agency Brings in New Members

Three months after VII Pboto announced a shakeup to its structure, the changes at the photographers’ cooperative have finally played out with the announcement today of its new members. They are Davide Monteleone, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Lynsey Addario, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Stefano de Luigi, Venetia Dearden, Jessica Dimmock, Adam Ferguson, Ashley Gilbertson, Seamus Murphy, Maciek Nabrdalik, Tomas Van Houtryve and Donald Weber.

Monteleone is brand new to the agency; Anastasia Taylor-Lind had been a photographer with the VII Mentor Program. The other new members had all been part of the VII Network, which had operated as a kind of farm league within the agency,  offering fewer services than members of VII Photo received.

VII announced in June that the VII Network would be dissolved in October, 2011, and invited VII Network members to apply for full membership. The members met last week to select from portfolios submitted.

When the restructuring was announced in June, VII member Ron Haviv said, “This year marks the tenth anniversary of VII’s formation and it is a perfect time to fully embrace a new generation of curious and enterprising VII photographers who will help us steer the agency into the future.”

VII’s other veteran members include Marcus Bleasdale, Ed Kashi, Gary Knight, Antonin Kratochvil, Joachim Ladefoged, Christopher Morris, Franco Pagetti, Stephanie Sinclair and John Stanmeyer. (James Nachtwey quit the agency earlier this year.)

VII Network photographers who did not apply for full membership or who applied but were not admitted include  Andrea Bruce, Eric Bouvet, Benedicte Kurzen, Tivadar Domaniczky and Ziyah Gafic.

The restructuring is intended to put VII on a better financial footing by bringing in active, young members, and will also change photographers’ contract terms. According to a statement from VII, “The simplified structure allows all members equal access to the agency’s services and offers clients full-service support for the photographers on VII’s roster.”

Related Stories

VII Dissolves Network, Announces New Mentors

Nachtwey Has Left VII Photo; Agency Prepares for Expansion

August 29th, 2011

Nachtwey Has Left VII Photo; Agency Prepares for Expansion

Photographer James Nachtwey confirms that he decided to leave the VII Photo Agency, the cooperative he cofounded in 2001, last fall.  “I disassociated from the agency as a photographer,” Nachtwey tells PDN. He says he told the other members of the agency of his decision at an agency meeting in November. Stephen Mayes, managing director of VII, says  Nachtwey’s photography business is being conducted through his studio.
Nachtwey was one of the original seven member/owners of the agency, which launched September 9, 2001. The others were the late Alexandra Boulat, Ron Haviv, Christopher Morris, Gary Knight, Antonin Kratochvil, and John Stanmeyer.
As the agency approaches its tenth anniversary, it is in the process of expanding its membership and reevaluating its direction. The agency announced after  in June that it would dissolve its VII Network. All members of the Network were asked to reapply for full membership in the agency;  applications are also being accepted by photographers outside of VII.  The deadline for applying to VII is September 9.
“Internally the distinction between owner and non owners [of the agency] will continue,  but in terms of service and the public, it’ll be one group of photographers,” Mayes says.
Mayes says VII’s owner-members will evaluate applications September 20 through 22. While selecting its future members, the owners will also be re-evaluating the direction of the agency. Depending on which photographers they choose to accept into the expanded VII Photo Agency, Mayes says, “The owners will look at themselves and say: ‘If this is VII, what do we want VII to be?’”
June 21st, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Into the Half-Life

Into the Half-Life from Donald Weber on Vimeo.

In this piece by Donald Weber photographs, video and quotations from residents of Zholtye Vody, Ukraine, combine to tell the story of a community crippled by health issues related to mining and enriching uranium for use in weapons of mass destruction. Weber recently received a national magazine award in Canada for his photo essay on Zholtye Vody, which was published in The Walrus.

A member of VII Network, Weber is currently at work on a book, and on July 21 and 22, Weber will be teaching two grant writing workshops in Berlin. Weber estimates that he’s won $178,000 in grants supporting his work over the past five years. For more information visit: http://donaldweber.tumblr.com/.