The VII Photo Agency has added two new names to its roster of noted photojournalists. The new members are Marcus Bleasdale, best known for covering the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Franco Pagetti, who has been covering the Iraq war for Time magazine since 2003.
The announcement of the new members was made during the agency's annual meeting and seminar, held over the past week at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. According to photographer Gary Knight, the chairman of VII, over 100 submissions for membership were considered at the annual meeting. According to its constitution, only 14 photographers can be members of VII at any given time.
The agency lost one of its founding members in 2007, when Alexandra Boulat died after suffering a brain aneurysm. This year's VII seminar began with a tribute to Boulat made by Kent Kobersteen, former director of photography at National Geographic magazine.
Bleasdale (seen above, left) has won many of the top honors available to photojournalists over the past several years, including a 2006 Overseas Press Club Olivier Rebbot award for work in Congo that was published in American Photo.
Pagetti (seen in the center of the photo at right) has been a news photographer since 1994, when he began covering conflicts in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Kosovo. Prior to his news career, he was for many years a successful fashion photographer, shooting for Italian Vogue.