Some of Jocelyne Benzakin earliest memories were of her father’s darkroom in her native Morocco. Through this exposure to the art, it ignited her interest in photography. But shortly thereafter, she and her family fled Morocco at the height of the revolution to seek refuge in New York. Benzakin was employed at the age of 16 at Globe, an agency in New York, selling pictures to magazines. There, Ms. Benzakin fostered her passion for photojournalism, a field that she pursued for many years before landing in photo editing.
Accumulating hundreds of connections in the world of photography, Benzakin had earned a reputation as a graceful and exceptional editor. She had a rare ability for cultivating emerging talent by using her astute aesthetic sense and her charismatic demeanor.
After successfully running the Sipa photo agency office in New York, Benzakin founded and directed the renowned JB Pictures in New York City. Among the photographers she represented were Maggie Steber, Mark Peterson, Ken Light, Arturo Robles, Steven Rubin, Stephen Ferry, Andrew Lichtenstein, Louise Gubb, Marc Asnin, Richard Sandler, and Gustavo Gilabert.
Facing a changing industry and increasingly difficult market, in 1995 she started the Sag Harbor Picture Gallery in Long Island, featuring both vintage photography by acknowledged 20th century masters as well as the exceptional work of photographers working in the Long Island area. Benzakin closed JB Pictures in 1996.
Ms. Benzakin had a lifelong devotion to photography and a distinct ability to see the best in others. She always wanted to be surprised, challenged, provoked and to elicit the finest in photography.
On March 31, 2005 Ms. Benzakin passed away in her home in New York at the age of 59.