Outreach Spotlight: VII Community

Explore the VII + PhotoWings Partnership:

Outreach Spotlight: VII Insider Videos

VII + PhotoWings: Foundry Photojournalism Workshop

Outreach Spotlight: VII + YMCA Youth Voices

Outreach Spotlight: Lost Rolls America


About The VII Foundation:

The VII Foundation's mission is to transform visual journalism by empowering new voices and creating stories that advocate change. In a world where beliefs and actions are increasingly out-of-sync with facts and realities, transforming visual journalism is an urgent task.

The VII Foundation was developed with a mission to radically transform visual journalism as funding through traditional sources for continuing documentary practice and long-term journalism projects diminished. 

With an emphasis on changing policy and educating youth, our high-profile projects narrate lived experiences, document complex problems, and seek sustainable solutions. The VII Foundation has recently produced prominent films, books, and exhibitions in multiple languages, which have been exhibited worldwide, reviewed in leading media, and taught in schools and colleges.

Outreach Spotlight: VII Community


Opening event: May 10th, 10AM PST

We are proud to expand our partnership with VII to present Community, with a mission to foster opportunities and further tuition-free education of visual practitioners.

Designed to be a space for open discussion and access to practical collaboration, VII Community provides a career-enhancing network for VII Academy and Foundry Photojournalism Workshop alumni worldwide. The new curated platform centers on continuing education, encouraging comradeship, mentoring, and developing personal and professional skills in a media landscape where collaboration is vital.

Made up of over 1000 alumni, the strategy of VII Community is to amplify, recognize, and advance careers in visual journalism in the Majority World and underrepresented communities in G20 countries. Our platform will allow practitioners to collaborate with peers and professionals in exciting spaces, including outside of the photojournalism silo, and encourage shared practical experience and knowledge.

VII Community will promote open discussion, personal development, practical media knowledge, and professional training through monthly talks by industry and other experts, portfolio reviews, mentorships, and educational resources in multiple languages.

Learn more:

VII Community Website




VII Community Activities

Continuing Education Series

Engage in live discussions with field experts on a range of topics, including storytelling, writing, ethics, resilience, marketing, editing, grant writing, and beyond.


Community Hangouts

Join us each month to connect with fellow members, engage in lively conversations, share valuable insights, and exchange ideas about the needs of the Community.


Photo Reviews

Join our monthly live group sessions where a guest editor will provide feedback on selected projects submitted by alumni. All members are welcome to attend and are encouraged to provide peer-to-peer feedback during the open discussion.


Ask me Anything

Whether you want to learn about gear, techniques, or career development, our “Ask Me Anything” video and chat sessions are the perfect opportunity to gain inside knowledge and have your questions answered by experts in the field.


VII Insider Presentations

A select group of alumni will be invited to present their work on VII Insider. A program of The VII Foundation in partnership with PhotoWings, VII Insider is an online platform for public debate and discussion focused on advancing the production and analysis of photography, documentary stories, and visual journalism.


Rewind Sessions

Discussions with the community dedicated to learning from their past courses.



Alumni of the VII Community are eligible to apply for a 1-on-1 mentorship, which includes six 1-hour sessions with guest mentors. This program is a valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Portfolio Reviews

In these 20-minute sessions, alumni will get the opportunity to have their portfolios reviewed by guest editors, professionals, photographers, curators, and other experts from the field.


Ask Me Anything: Maggie Steber

May 26

Maggie Steber is a renowned documentary photographer who has worked in 72 countries, making stories on the human condition, cultures, histories, conflict, and science. She is also an inspiring mentor and passionate lecturer, and we are highly honored that she is one of the mentors of the Foundry Photojournalism Workshop.

Whether you want to learn about gear, techniques, or career development, our “Ask Me Anything” video and chat sessions are the perfect opportunity to gain inside knowledge and have your questions answered by experts in the field.

Presenter Biography:

Award-winning photographer and editor Maggie Steber is well-known for her passion for teaching, and so we were thrilled when she welcomed us into her classroom at the 2018 Foundry Photojournalism Workshop in Kolkata, India. Maggie provides insight into her style of teaching, the ways we can learn to find our own visual voice, and tips for editing and storytelling. "I really like to create an atmosphere where it's almost like a family," says Maggie, "I want us to be friends."

Maggie has worked in 64 countries focusing on humanitarian, cultural, and social stories. Her honors include the Leica Medal of Excellence, World Press Photo Foundation, the Overseas Press Club, Pictures of the Year, the Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri, the Alicia Patterson and Ernst Haas Grants, and a Knight Foundation grant for the New American Newspaper project.

For over three decades, Steber has worked in Haiti. Aperture published her monograph, DANCING ON FIRE. In 2013 Steber was named as one of eleven Women of Vision by National Geographic Magazine, publishing a book and touring an exhibition in five American cities.

Steber has served as a Newsweek Magazine contract photographer and as the Asst. Managing Editor of Photography and Features at The Miami Herald, overseeing staff projects that won the paper a Pulitzer and two finalist recognition. Her work is included in the Library of Congress, The Richter Library and in private collections. She has exhibited internationally. Clients include National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, AARP, The Guardian, and Geo Magazine among others. Steber teaches workshops internationally including at the World Press Joop Swart Master Classes, the International Center for Photography, Foundry Workshops and and the Obscura Photo Festival.

Launch: Perspectives on Community, Hosted by Ron Haviv and Suzie Katz

Featuring Clay Bolt, Idris Talib Solomon, Adriana Zehbrauskas, and Nichole Sobecki.

To kick off the beginning of our new VII Community Discord server, we hosted four unique perspectives on the meaning of community and its importance. Photographers Clay Bolt, Idris Talib Solomon, Adriana Zehbrauskas, and Nichole Sobecki reflected on these ideas in a live conversation followed by Q&A with the audience.

Presenter Biographies:

Featured Presenters:

Clay Bolt

Clay Bolt is a Natural History and Conservation Photographer specializing in the world’s smaller creatures who regularly partners with organizations such as the National Geographic Society and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. His current major focus is on North America’s native bees and the important roles that they play in our lives. 

Nichole Sobecki

Nichole Sobecki is a photographer and filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is represented internationally by the photo agency VII. Nichole was born in the state of New York and graduated from Tufts University with a degree in political science. She began her career in Turkey, Lebanon, and Syria, focusing on regional issues related to identity, conflict, and human rights. From 2012-2015 Nichole led Agence France-Presse’s East Africa video bureau before immersing herself in documentary photography. She is also a contributor to Everyday Africa, a collection of images shot on mobile phones across the continent, and an attempt to showcase the moments missing from dramatic news images — everyday life that is neither idealized nor debased.

Idris Talib Solomon

Idris Talib Solomon (he/him) is a visual artist with over 10 years of experience in the marketing, advertising, and entertainment industry. In parallel, he uses photography to focus on stories that are overlooked within the African American community. He photographs dancers and gymnasts in Harlem, funeral homes in East New York, muralists in Bushwick, Black cowboys in Houston, athletes and eco challenges in Fiji, racing drones in France, and unit stills for television and movies. He also photographs his wife and son. Solomon is the creative director and host of the Black Shutter Podcast, which gives Black photographers a platform to tell their own stories.

Adriana Zehbrauskas

Adriana Zehbrauskas is a Brazilian documentary photographer based in Phoenix, Arizona. Her work is largely focused on issues related to migration, religion, human rights, underrepresented communities and the violence resulting from the drug trade in Mexico, Central and South America. As a documentary photographer the core of her work is aimed at moving, challenging and connecting people through the stories she works on. 

She contributes regularly with the The New York Times and well as with UNICEF and The Guardian. Her work has been widely published in outlets such as The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Stern, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and El País, among others.