Gamma/Sygma – Alain Dupuis: Dawn of the conquerors

For forty years, Alain Dupuis sold photos, first for APIS, then for the Sygma agency, where he was joined by Claude Duverger, Tony Rubichon and others. The founding of Sygma was the starting gun for the fierce competition among Gamma, Sygma and Sipa Press, founded the same year as Sygma by Göksin Sipahioglu. The agencies managed in just a few years to drive up the price of news photos to outrageous sums.

Between 1985 and 1995, they created what has been called The Golden Age of Photojournalism, where photographers and sellers got “filthy rich” through real and false scoops and taking foolish risks. According to several witnesses, “the parking lots at Sygma were the first in France to have Porsches, Jaguars and Ferraris.”


This success made their downfall all the more bitter.


Michel Puech

Gamma/Sygma: Alain Dupuis, L’aube des conquérants

Saumur, 4 aout 2011 Alain Dupuis, chez lui. Ancien directeur commercial de Sygma, ancien "vendeur" de l'agence Apis. (c) Michel Puech /
Saumur, 4 aout 2011 Alain Dupuis, chez lui. Ancien directeur commercial de Sygma, ancien “vendeur” de l’agence Apis. (c) Michel Puech /

Alain Dupuis fut, pendant quarante ans, vendeur de photos, tout d’abord pour APIS puis pour l’agence Sygma où il fut rejoint par Claude Duverger, Tony Rubichon, etc. La création de Sygma fut le début d’une concurrence folle entre Gamma, Sygma et Sipa Press fondée la même année que Sygma par Göksin Sipahioglu. En quelques année ces agences se sont employés en quelques années à faire monter les prix des reportages photos jusqu’à la démesure.


Gamma/Sygma – Raymond Depardon: An Unavoidable Split

He is the best known of the four musketeers who founded Gamma in November 1966, taking charge of the agency after the parting of the ways. I wanted to hear his side of the story, but the photographer, who took President François Holland’s official portrait one year ago, is difficult to reach. When I finally got through to him, he was reluctant at first: “The anniversary of Sygma. I’m in no position to talk about it—I’m anti-Sygma!” A few days later, he called me back and kindly answered a few questions. Forty years later, despite his written contribution to the memoirs of Hubert Henrotte (which Depardon claims not to have read), we feel that the conflict of April and May 1973 is still vivid in his mind. The reason is his almost visceral attachment to Gamma, which led him again last month to offer his support to François Lochon, the agency’s current director.

Michel Puech

Read the full article on the French

Gamma/Sygma, Raymond Depardon: “Une scission inévitable”

1967 à Gamma: Raymond Depardon et Gilles Caron1967 à Gamma: Photo© Gamma-Rapho

Il est le plus connu des quatre mousquetaires qui ont fondé Gamma en novembre 1966 et c’est lui qui a pris la direction de l’agence après la scission des fondateurs. Je souhaitais évidement son témoignage, mais le photographe qui a immortalisé le Président de la République française il y a un an, est difficile à joindre. (Suite)