Smile: The Photographers of VII Photo Agency

National Exhibition Register

  • Aya Abbas Hussain, 9, left, and, Banee Adel Abdullah, 8, right, stand for a portrait in Baghdad, Iraq
    Franco Pagetti Aya Abbas Hussain, 9, left, and, Banee Adel Abdullah, 8, right, stand for a portrait in Baghdad, Iraq, 2008
    Inkjet print mounted unframed
    420 x 594mm
    Image Credit
    IMAGE Courtesy and © the artist

About the exhibition

From the world-renowned agency VII Photo comes a major contribution to culture. Smile brings together images of people smiling – often a taboo expression in photojournalism— into a collection of 300 powerful images gathered during the most important historical events that have shaped the past thirty years.

This anthology explores how a seemingly simple action—a smile—manifests in our world; from the most depressing, violent, dysfunctional and poverty stricken conditions to the warmth and security of joy, affection, love and home. A smile can mean many things, and the purpose of this work is to fill a major hole in our visual understanding of the world around us. Photojournalists are branded as experts in reflecting peoples’ sadness, anger, surprise or fear, but a smile is often overlooked. Here, we seek to break down this ingrained professional avoidance, which ultimately denies the medium a greater depth.

About VII Photo Agency

VII Photo was created in 2001 by seven of the world’s leading photojournalists, and by 2005 VII was listed in third position in American Photo’s “100 Most Important People in Photography.” VII now represents 19 of the world’s preeminent photojournalists and visual storytellers, whose careers span 35 years of world history and whose approaches embrace a wide variety of styles. Renowned for the quality of its photography, the group’s collective archive of over 100,000 images is an iconic summary of the defining landmarks of the late twentieth century and it continues to grow as the new millennium develops.

Artists and Curator

Head On Photo Festival

Alexandra Boulat, Antonin Kratochvil, Ashley Gilbertson, Christopher Morris, Davide Monteleone. Donald Weber, Ed Kashi, Franco Pagetti, Gary Knight, Jessica Dimmock, Joachim Ladefoged, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, John Stanmeyer, Maciek Nabrdalik, Marcus, Bleasdale, Ron HAviv, Sim Chi Yin, Stefano Di Luigi, Tomas Van Houtryve

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/03/2017 - 01/03/2019
Exhibition size
Under 50 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Head On Photo Festival
$2,500 (exc. freight)
Accompanying materials available
Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Labels
Other materials
Australian & International artists 19 prints 420 x 594mm Package: 1/1 
680 x 880 x 150mm
Primary contact
Tony Nolan
Head On Photo Festival
02 9665 5865
Secondary contact
Lauran Vohmann
02 9665 5865