Top photographers sign to new London picture agency

A Sebastião Salgado picture from his book, An Uncertain Grace

Internationally renowned photographers Annie Leibovitz, David Burnett, Don McCullin and Sebastião Salgado will have their work represented by a new London agency, NB Pictures, from this month.

In a move that runs contrary to recent developments in the photography marketplace – where big companies have swallowed up smaller agencies – clients of NB’s New York partner, Contact Press Images, have stood out for individual representation and control of their work.

NB’s pictures director is Neil Burgess, who managed Network Photographers for nearly seven years until last July and has worked for picture agencies for 16 years. He was bureau chief for Magnum Photos in New York in the Eighties when he set up Magnum’s UK operation in London.

"We work with creative photographers who are authors and artists," said Burgess. "The control of their work is important to them, whether it be in magazines, galleries or books, or in the commercial environment."

The agency, he said, would focus on the needs of the photographers and not on shareholder dividends.

Burgess said the agency’s roots were in journalism, adding: "But today the crossover with the cultural and the commercial sectors is inevitable."

NB is interested in new partnerships. "Each of the creative areas -journalism, culture and commerce – influence and inspire one another," Burgess explained. "We will bring together the management of these sectors under a single roof. We will deal with a photographer’s work and career holistically."

Based in East London, NB Pictures will hold the archives of its famous photographers and deal with representation of their new production and projects.

Partnership with the New York agency will give NB international reach when it comes to assignments. The US, Europe, India, China and Australia are home bases for Contact’s team of photographers which include Frank Fournier, Stephen Dupont and Giorgia Fiori.

NB will also be signing up new photographers in the UK.

Salgado said: "Photographers need representation by people who understand issues and images.

"I’m looking forward to working with an agency in the UK with this perspective."

Jean Morgan

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