Masters of Photography with their most famous images


Tim Mantoani has shot over 150 portraits of Famous Photographers with their iconic images in the book Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends.

Photo Above: Steve Mcurry with ‘Afgan Girl’. Steve McCurry holds his 1984 photo of a young woman from Peshawar, Pakistan. “I looked for this girl for 17 years and finally found her in 2002. Her name is Sharbat Gula.”



Douglas Kirkland: “This is from my Evening with Marilyn.”



Carl Fischer, Muhammad Ali posing as Saint Sebastian for Esquire Magazine in 1967.



Barbara Bordnick


Behind-Photographs-Book  David-Doubilet

David Doubilet



Elliot Erwitt: “The picture I am holding was snapped in 1974 just across the street from my apartment in New York’s Central Park. It has been 38 years since that event and sadly I have lost track of the participants.”



Herman Leonard



Jeff Widener holds his photo of Tank Man in Tienanmen Square from 1989.



Jim Marshall



Julius Shulman



Karen Kuehn: “From the 1993 Cats Story shot for National Geographic. The director Thomas Kennedy asked me to shoot an entire story about ‘cats.’ He did not want it to be typical! So problem solving this assignment was good fun. The Russian Blue Cat and Ballerina legs was inspired by George Balanchine — he used the idea of cats landing always on their toes to teach his dancers.”



Mary Ellen Mark: “I am holding my photograph of Ram Prakash Singh and his beloved elephant Shyama — taken in 1990. Ram Prakash Singh was the ringmaster of “The Great Golden Circus.” The photograph was done in Ahmedabad India. This was part of my Indian Circus Project.

I love India and I love the circus so photographing eighteen circuses all around India was an incredible experience. Unfortunately, Shyama died a few months after this photograph was taken. Supposedly he succumbed to a poisoned chapatti. Ram Prakash Singh was heartbroken. Me also.”


Mark Seliger: “Originally an inside opener for Rolling Stone cover story of Nirvana in conjunction with the release of In Utero, my first Polaroid (with Negative) was by far the most emotional and revealing of his spirit. Two months later Kurt died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. This photograph became the memorial RS cover.”lyle_owerko

Lyle Owerko: “No one knew such a beautiful warm day would serve as the backdrop to one of the most painful and confusing events to the heart of mankind. This picture is one small part of such a huge event that ties the threads of thousands of stories and millions of people together.

Written words will never convey the whole scope of the event, nor even summarize the sounds, the smells or even the voices that are frozen in my memory bank from that day. I did the best job I could in photographing 9/11 so that future generations would have an idea of the scope of what happened, to have the evidence of how innocence can so easily be snatched away in a razor’s edged moment of time.

My hope is that in time the wounds and pain will heal and that wisdom and peace will prevail among the darkness of this event, so that humanity can move forward into a time of grace and understanding.”


Harry Benson: “Brian Epstein — Beatles’ manager — had just told them they were number one in America, and I was coming with them to New York, 1964”


Brian Smith: “The magic of photography happens when you don’t see what’s coming next.”




Brent Stirton: “This is Virunga, the first National Park in Africa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Silverback Mountain Gorilla, along with 6 females, had been killed by a group trying to intimidate conservation rangers into being less proactive in their efforts against poaching & illegal charcoal making.

There are only about 40 of these Silverbacks in the world, so the Rangers were devastated at the assassination. This procession went on for about 5 kms, moving the 600 pound body over hills & through the forest. Over 120 of these rangers have died in the last 10 years doing this job; most make less than $10 a month. They’re heroes, there’s just no other word that seems appropriate to describe these incredible African men.”


Bill Eppridge stands with his photo of Robert F. Kennedy after his assassination on June 5, 1968.neil_leifer-660x972

Neil Leifer holds his photo, Ali vs. Liston, which he took on May 25, 1965 in Lewiston, Maine.

Tim says: “The first time I rented the 20×24 Polaroid Camera was in San Francisco in December of 2006. It was a magical experience that forever changed my life and the path of the next five years for my photography. I would go on to shoot with the 20×24 Polaroid Camera with John Reuter and Jennifer Trausch in New York and with Elsa Dorfman’s 20×24 camera in Cambridge. Along the way, I also acquired a 20×24 Wisner Camera with a Polaroid back that would allow me to shoot on the road. In total, over 150 photographers would stand before my lens, generating an amazing body of work and a world of new friendships.

Here is a look at some behind the scenes images from the project.

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Tim Mantoani remembers the moment he first held a 35mm camera in his hand and raised it to his eye to take a photograph of his high school counselor. His love of image making subsequently drew him to Brooks Institute of Photography, where he specialized in advertising photography. After graduation, he became studio manager for renowned photographic educator Dean Collins. Mantoani opened his own San Diego studio in 1995.

Mantoani’s credits include:Sports IllustratedNewsweek and ESPN The Magazine, as well as ad campaigns for Coors, Coca-Cola, EA Sports and Oakley. Tim’s studio is not only full-service; it’s a virtual museum full of “Americana”—an easy place to hang out and conveniently located by the airport.

Today, when Tim’s not shooting on assignment, he’s documenting venerable lens men who have collectively captured decades of culture and celebrities with their own cameras. Legendary rock photographers Jim Marshall and Michael Zagaris have sat for 20 x 24-inch Polaroid portraits, as have Walter Iooss, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Pete Turner, Elliott Erwitt, Mary Ellen Mark and Roberto Salas. Tim’s enthusiasm for the medium of photography is undiminished by the changes he’s seen during his career. For him, it’s not work so much as a mission. He sees the story in each face, in each place; and lives to give them a voice through his work.  (via Wired)