Steve McCurry’s career in photography has seen him travel the world covering conflicts, vanishing traditional cultures and scenes from contemporary society. Best known for his photograph Afghan Girl, he has gone on to document the impact of war and conflict to humans and the environment.
Steve McCurry has been one of the most important voices in contemporary photography for over three decades, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.
Born in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, McCurry studied film at Pennsylvania State University, before going on to work for a local newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry left for India and Pakistan, eventually meeting a group of Afghan refugees who smuggled him across the border into Afghanistan, just as the Russian invasion was closing the country to all western journalists. Embedded with the Mujahedeen, McCurry brought the world the first images of the conflict in Afghanistan, including his celebrated image of the Afghan Girl, Sharbat Gula, that has become one of the world’s most iconic photographs.
Since then, McCurry has gone on to create images over six continents and countless countries. His work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture. He has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest.
In 2009, when Eastman Kodak discontinued the production of its fabled film, Kodachrome, and gave McCurry the final roll ever produced, he spent six weeks shooting it to ensure that these thirty-six images would be an appropriate homage to the film that had been so important to his years in the medium.