Famous Photographers Pose with Their Most Iconic Images

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Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry

When we gaze upon an iconic (or even just a really good) photograph, it’s difficult to think about the work or the passion behind it – we are seeing a documented scene or a crafted image and–unless you are a photographer–most people don’t wonder about the individual who was behind the camera. Sure, the majority of the populace will automatically recognize the photo of the Afghan Girl that was on the cover of National Geographic, but if you said the name “Steve McCurry” would the everyday person have any idea who you were talking about?

Photographer Tim Mantoani is setting out to change this with an ambitious project: He is photographing well known photographers with their most iconic, famous, or favorite photographs. He has collected 150 of these riveting portraits in a recent book – Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends.
Not only is he contacting and documenting these famous photographers, but he is also challenging his own photographical prowess by shooting on the legendary 20×24 Polaroid camera. These cameras are practically extinct (2 in existence), and the film goes for about $200 dollars a pop – per FRAME.

Click through the gallery tabs above to see a selection of this work.

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42 Responses to Famous Photographers Pose with Their Most Iconic Images

  1. Andrew Vanasse February 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    I’ve had the opportunity to work for Tim. The man’s awesome! I was also had the privilege of being taught by Greg Heisler, so this project is one of my favorites. I’m glad it’s getting exposure.

  2. Ryan Hodges February 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    This is truly incredible. Makes me feel for these photographs even more.

  3. Randell John February 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    A great set of portraits, really nice to see the photographer pictured with their work, but I hate the grungy frames – Really distracting. The portraits are good enough to stand on their own and just don’t need all that fuzz.

    • RobyFabro February 7, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

      The photographs are 20×24 Polaroids, and the grungy frames are an intrinsic part of it, that’s what you get when you peel the paper off. Nice to see there are people who can afford $200 per click!

  4. David G. February 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I like that portrait 4.

  5. Jon Galas February 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Thanks for Sharing Sir Chase (:
    Why no Chase Jarvis? :D

  6. Jim February 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Steve McCurry is hard to beat, the Afgan Girl gained wide acclaim, but he has much better images than that one.

  7. Nasir Hamid February 7, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    I saw this on kick-starter last year, did the book ever get produced? What a fantastic project and one I see as a love letter to film photographers. Notice the portraits were not shot on digital? Where will we be in 40 years from now when we can’t read the RAW files that are being created today because they’re in an obsolete ‘old’ format? Very sad.

  8. Jon DeVaul February 8, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Chase, thanks for posting this…truly inspiring!

  9. Dave K. February 8, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    What a great project. Steve McCurry’s iconic photo was so haunting on the cover of National Geographic. Will never forget it.

  10. Photographyego February 8, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    Some interesting artists and their work. Thanks Kurt Cobain for me.

  11. Wes Shelley February 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

    Mark Seliger’s portraits are incredible! I hadn’t ever checked his stuff out but man- you’ve got to. Some of the best celebrity portraiture I’ve seen.

  12. Mathieu Wauters February 10, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    Great images, great project. Thanks for posting this, Chase!

  13. Frank Meo February 10, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    The book is wonderful. Every photographer should have it as their daily inspiration! As you flip the pages your eyes grow wider as you realize that Tim came up with a great idea and had the savvy to produce it. The book also speaks to the production and tenacity of realizing an idea. Nice job Tim!

  14. Halfrack February 10, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    I ordered a copy a few days ago. http://www.mantoani.com – he has a few different options for purchasing there.

  15. Iggy February 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    I have this book, it’s incredible. Everyone should have it just for the quality of the book itself.

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  20. Caryn Heusner March 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    There are some interesting cut-off dates on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There’s some validity but I’ll take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish extra! Added to FeedBurner as well

  21. rexmariposa July 14, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    I like yours photos and vedios

  22. Famous Photographer July 19, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    I was greatly inspire by the works of these famous photographers! Thanks for the share!

  23. Bruce Allinson August 23, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    What a great project I love the concept and believe you are right only other photographers know who the talent is behind these famous photographs but then can we take it one step further because the likes of that iconic Mother Teresa shot would not be iconic without the talented Larry Bartlet RIP working in the daily telegraph photo lab at the time. Maybe that could be the next project ;)

  24. Andrew Sheppard August 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Don’t care much for the Gov. false flag one.

  25. ComClaim_UrQuote October 17, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Love your work.. its the little details that make the biggest difference.
    Your work speaks to an intimate hidden part of me. Following you on Twitter,
    keep shooting the beauty

    Regards,

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  28. Tim Mantoani November 27, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Chase: Thanks for the post and helping to share this project!

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  36. David Wai March 19, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Chase, why are you not on this list?! If you were, what picture would you choose?

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