Editorial & Business
Clean up job at VII
Gary Knight co-fondateur de VII en grande discussion avec Jean-François Leroy pour les dix ans de VII à Visa pour l’image © Geneviève Delalot
“It was a little tornado, not a very innocent one… five photographers have been let go!” commented a photographer from the VII network. Since James Nachtwey’s departure this summer, rumors have been circulating about the agency: financial difficulties and reorganization were high on the list. Last June, according to Olivier Laurent of the British Journal of Photography (BJP), the agency was planning, in October 2011, to shut down the VII network, a distribution network of photographers not associated with the agency.
On September 11, Alain Mingam confirmed James Nachtwey’s departure in “La Lettre” while Jean-François Leroy celebrated the agency’s 10th anniversary with a special projection at Visa pour l’Image. This week, Olivier Laurent mentioned an important meeting with agency associates that took place two weeks ago in John Stanmeyer’s apartment. In an interview with BJP, cofounder Gary Knight made the following precision “It was probably the most difficult thing we ever had to do. No one appreciated it because we knew it would be awful for all of us…/… We started on Tuesday and on Wednesday evening we had studied all of the arguments.”
In the end, Eric Bouvet, Tivadar Domaniczky, Ziyah Gafic and Bénédicte Kurzen were not asked to join VII, the new team, while Andrea Bruce had already left, following in James Nachtwey’s footsteps shortly after his departure.
VII Agency, VII Photo, VII Network, VII Mentor, VII Magazine… Since its creation in September, 2001 by, as the name suggests, seven photographers, the agency that wanted to create an ownership based association seems over the past few years to have lost its way.
Agency clients, like observers, have had a hard time understanding the plethora of brands where photographers of all categories mingled. Only two remain: photographers that are owners and photographers that are distributed. Let’s hope that the quality of their photo stories and the agency’s reputation will not be hurt by this brutal clean-up job.
Photographers currently represented by the agency : Lynsey Addario,
Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Marcus Bleasdale, Stefano De Luigi, Venetia
Dearden, Jessica Dimmock, Adam Ferguson, Ashley Gilbertson, Ron Haviv, Ed Kashi, Gary Knight, Antonin Kratochvil, Joachim Ladefoged, Davide Monteleone, Christopher Morris, Seamus Murphy, Maciek Nabrdalik, Franco Pagetti, Stephanie Sinclair, John Stanmeyer, Anastasia Taylor-Lind, Tomas van Houtryve and Donald Weber.