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  • Writer's picturerahul sriskanthan

VII Photo Agency

Founded in a Baptism of fire, Days Before 9/11

The agency is called VII because it had seven founding members, who set it up days before 9/11, which became their first assignment. James Nachtwey, one of the founding members of VII was packing his bags to go on an assignment 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. Over the following days, he photographed the aftermath of despair. 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. 

In the same way that Magnum was a product of the second world war, VII Photo Agency is a product of 9/11 and its aftermath.

Image Driven Story Telling

If you want to know how to present your portfolio professionally, come here. The Signature Stories section of the website showcases work covering extremely sensitives subjects, such as torture, child refugees, organized crimes, and in all cases the collection of photographs in and of themselves draw the viewer into the subject matter with the briefest of explanations.


The agency also offers a range of mentoring and learning options, some paid, some free. Attend an interactive online lecture, attend a book-club discussion to deep dive on a photographic topic, or sign for mentoring sessions.

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