Home Photography Books Steve McCurry “Untold: The Stories Behind The Photographs”

Steve McCurry “Untold: The Stories Behind The Photographs”

Image from the photography book Steve McCurry Untold The Story Behind The Photographs
Mother and child looking in through a taxi window, Bombay, India, 1993 © Steve McCurry/Magnum Photos

“Compelling photography doesn’t require exotic travel, but I needed to wander and explore.”

Steve McCurry “Untold”

It’s a cliché, almost as old as visual imagery itself: “A picture says more than a thousand words.” Even though these words have been cited to death, they remain true. The images of widely acclaimed photojournalist Steve McCurry are clear evidence to back up that idea.

They are timeless documents of suffering, hope and beauty around the world. They touch the viewer on an intellectual and emotional level. Steve McCurry’s images need no explanations, they speak for themselves.

Soumya Shankar Ghossal: Meeting Steve McCurry On The Streets Of Kolkata

By looking at them, one immediately understands what they are about. Yet the question is: “How did he take that photograph?” Steve McCurry (born in 1950 in Philadelphia, USA) gives the answer in his most recent book “Untold: The Stories Behind The Photographs”.

For the first time, the multi‐award‐winning photographer Steve McCurry has opened up his personal archive to the world, to create a landmark new book, Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs, published this September by Phaidon.

“Amassed and hidden for decades, they capture all the inspirations…”

For over thirty years, McCurry has not only kept every copy of the magazine or newspaper that first published his pictures, but also his own personal journals, train tickets, maps, press passes, itineraries, thematic notes and even restaurant receipts. Amassed and hidden for decades, they capture all the inspirations, technical difficulties, and even a number of arrests that lie behind the finished works.

“Extraordinary lengths McCurry has been willing to go to, to get his shot.”

Granted exclusive access, Phaidon has selected and scanned to the highest quality over 1000 examples of these previously unseen documents and archival material, to unearth and bring to life the extraordinary stories behind over 200 of McCurry’s most iconic photographs, across fourteen assignments, from his earliest in Afghanistan, 1979 to recent trips to Vietnam in 2007.

Offering an unprecedented chance to understand the man behind the camera that has taken some of the world’s best‐known pictures such as the Afghan girl, Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs illustrates the extraordinary lengths McCurry has been willing to go to, to get his shot.

Appealing to all aspiring and professionals photographers, travel and cultural enthusiasts, Steve McCurry Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs has something extraordinary to offer. It is the living biography and archive of one of photography’s greatest legends; a chance to explore his fascination from the age of 11 with the Indian monsoon, gain invaluable advice on capturing the extremities of weather conditions and the people who live (and suffer) through them, and delve beneath the surface into the deeper symbolic meaning behind astounding photographs such as the bicycles hanging on the side of a train, West Benghal, India, 1983 (above).


Check out my photography podcast – conversations with inspiring street photographers from around the globe sharing their secrets for creating amazing images. It’s mostly in German, but here are some episodes in English:

Valerie Jardin: “Street Photography – Creative Vision Behind The Lens”

Jason Koxvold: “Knives” – Left Behind In Rural America”

Dyanne Wilson: Chasing The Northern Lights In Yellowknife

Luc Kordas: Loneliness In New York

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  1. […] In the following you’ll find a collection of the 5 best photography movies about Steve McCurry available on the Internet. The films tell the story of a fascinating man and his camera capturing the human spirit in regions torn apart by violence or natural disasters. For another behind-the-scenes look you might also want to check out the recently published book Steve McCurry: Untold – The Stories Behind The Photographs. […]


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