Iconic photographs of superstars – John Lennon on a city rooftop inhabiting a New York City t-shirt, Elvis’ up-on-his toes “Jailhouse Rock” pose, Marilyn Monroe on the subway grate updraft, struggling to hold down her skirt – we’ve seen those images thousands of times.
But what happens to the outtakes, images that were part of the shoot but didn’t make the final cut?
Enter VaultWorks, a new minority-owned media company that has devised an innovative business model which helps photographers monetize their massive, underused archives and in the process gives collectors exclusive access to rare, overlooked, never-before-seen photo sessions from top photographers. This includes iconic shots of David Bowie, Jay Z, Amy Winehouse and Mick Jagger among many others.
It’s a win for both sides. In addition to unique images, collectors get customized behind-the-photo backstories from the lensmen. For photographers, Vaultworks sorts through their vast archives with the savvy eye of professional curators who understand the marketplace and counsels them on soup-to-nuts details from the desired paper stock to the best frames.
The three VW principals – managing director Dipesh Sinha, and co-founders Shay Vishawadia and Anik Sood - each bring considerable experience in the entertainment business, lending them the ability to understand the needs of their artists and promote them through gallery shows and a traveling photo exhibition, Eye Contact, which has had SRO runs in New York City and Nashville with Los Angeles and London scheduled.
Currently VaultWorks’ collection includes some of music and pop culture’s most highly regarded photographers like Ernie Paniccioli, a legend in hip hop photography, and acclaimed rockstar portraitist Phil Knott, among others. In the pipeline is expansion to other sectors – sports, history, etc.
Sinha says “These unseen photos are often more interesting than what you see in the mainstream. You get an unfiltered, non-corporate glimpse at the cultural forces that converge to create important moments and movements in history.”
VaultWorks celebrates archival content, bringing lost stories to life. Its aim is to highlight forgotten and untold cultural history through the lenses of the creators who captured it. This is done through archival asset management, original content creation, and other traditional and non-traditional avenues.
For more information on VaultWorks go to vaultworks.com