April 23, 1950
Darby, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Leica Hall of Fame Award, Hasselblad MasterRobert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad
Steve McCurry was born on February 24, 1950 in Pennsylvania, attended Penn State University. He originally planned to study cinematography and filmmaking, but ended up getting a degree in theater arts and graduating in 1974. He became interested in photography when he started taking pictures for the Penn State newspaper The Daily Collegian.
After working at Today's Post in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania for two years, he left for India to freelance. It was here that McCurry learned to watch and wait on life. “If you wait,” he realized, “people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”
His career was launched when, disguised in native garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled areas of Afghanistan just before the Soviet invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes. Those images, which were published around the world, were among the first to show the conflict. His coverage won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, an award dedicated to photographers exhibiting exceptional courage and enterprise.
McCurry continued to cover armed conflicts, including the Iran-Iraq War, Lebanon Civil War, the Cambodian Civil War, the Islamic insurgency in the Philippines, the Gulf War and the Afghan Civil War. His work has been featured worldwide in magazines and he is a frequent contributor to National Geographic. He has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1986.
He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association. The same year, he won an unprecedented four first-place prizes in the World Press Photo contest.
McCurry focuses on the human consequences of war, not only showing what war impresses on the landscape, but rather, on the human face. “Most of my images are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape, that you could call the human condition.”
Steve McCurry is portrayed in a TV documentary The Face of the Human Condition (2003) by French award-winning filmmaker Denis Delestrac.
In May 2012 Steve McCurry was Pirelli's inspired choice of photographer to shoot the pictures for the 2013 Pirelli Calendar in Rio de Janeiro.
McCurry took his most recognized portrait, "Afghan Girl", in a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan. The image itself was named as "the most recognized photograph" in the history of the National Geographic magazine and her face became famous as the cover photograph on the June 1985 issue. The photo has also been widely used on Amnesty International brochures, posters, and calendars. The identity of the "Afghan Girl" remained unknown for over 17 years until McCurry and a National Geographic team located the woman, Sharbat Gula, in 2002. McCurry said, “Her skin is weathered; there are wrinkles now, but she is as striking as she was all those years ago.”
Although McCurry shoots both in digital and film, his admitted preference is for transparency film. Eastman Kodak let him shoot the last ever produced roll of Kodachrome transparency film, which was processed in July 2010 by Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas and will be housed at the George Eastman House. Most of the photos, excluding a few near-duplicates, have been published on the Internet by Vanity Fair. "I shot it for 30 years and I have several hundred thousand pictures on Kodachrome in my archive. I'm trying to shoot 36 pictures that act as some kind of wrap up – to mark the passing of Kodachrome. It was a wonderful film."
|2011||Leica Hall of Fame Award||St. Moritz, Switzerland|
|2011||Prix LiberPress||Girona, Spain|
|2009||Ambrogino D’Oro||Milan, Italy|
|2006||Lowell Thomas GOLD|
|2006||First Place, Buddha Rising, National Geographic, Dec. 2005||National Press Photographers Association|
|2006||Honorary Fellowship||New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP)|
|2005||Honorary Fellowship||The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, London|
|2005||Photojournalism Division-International Understanding through Photography Award||Photographic Society of America|
|2003||The Lucie Award for Photojournalism||International Photography Awards|
|2003||Distinguished Alumni Award||Pennsylvania State University|
|2003||Co-recipient of the New York Film Festival Gold for documentary, Afghan Girl: Found"||New York Film Festival|
|2002||Distinguished Visiting Fellow||College of Creative Studies, University of California|
|2002||Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa||Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ|
|2002||Photographer of the Year - PMDA Professional Photographer Award||PMDA|
|2002||Photographer of the Year||American Photo Magazine|
|2002||Special Recognition Award||United Nations International Photographic Council|
|2002||Award of Excellence for "Women of Afghanistan"||French Art Directors Association|
|2001||Award of Excellence, Book Series: "South SouthEast||Photography Annual, Communication Arts|
|2000||Book of the Year: "South SouthEast"
Magazine Feature Picture Award of Excellence: "Women in Field, Yemen
|Picture of the Year Competition|
|1999||Lifetime Fellow Award||Pennsylvania State University, PA|
|1998||Our World Photo Winner, "Red Boy"
Our World Essay Finalist, India
|Life Magazine: 'The Eisenstaedt Awards'|
|1998||Award of Excellence, Portraits: Red Boy||Picture of the Year Competition|
|1998||Southern Asian Journalistic Award: Outstanding Special Project: National Geographic Story, India: 50 Years of Independence
Southern Asian Journalistic Award: Outstanding Photograph: Red Boy
|1997||Magazine Feature Picture Award of Excellence: Fishermen||Picture of the Year Competition|
|1996||Magazine Feature Picture Story Award: '"Beggar
Magazine Feature Picture Story Award: Burma: The Richest of the Poor Countries
|Picture of the Year Competition|
|1994||Arts and Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award||Pennsylvania State University|
|1993||Award of Excellence for Rubble of War||National Press Photographers Association|
|1992||Oliver Rebbot Memorial Award: Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad on Gulf War Coverage||Overseas Press Club|
|1992||Magazine Feature Picture Award of Excellence: Fiery Aliens
First Place, Magazine Science Award: Camels under a Blackened Sky First Place, Gulf War News Story: Kuwait: After the Storm
|Picture of the Year Competition|
|1992||First Place, Nature and Environment: Oil-Stricken Bird, Kuwait
First Place, General News Stories: Kuwait after the Storm Children's Award: "Camels under a Blackened Sky
|World Press Photo Competition|
|1990||Award of Excellence, "Spanish Gypsy||White House News Photographers Association|
|1987||Medal of Honor for coverage of the 1986 Philippine Revolution||Philippines|
|1986||Oliver Rebbot Memorial Award: Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad for work done in the Philippines||Overseas Press Club|
|1984||Nature Category, First Place
Nature Series Category, First place Daily LIfe Category, First Place Daily Life Series, First Place
|World Press Competition|
|1985||Oliver Rebbot Award Citation: Monsoons and The New Faces of Baghdad|
|1984||Magazine Photographer of the Year||National Press Photographers Association|
|1980||Robert Capa Gold Medal for coverage of the war in Afghanistan for Time Magazine|
|The Iconic Photographs||Phaidon Press||Limited, 2011|
|The Unguarded Moment||Phaidon Press||Limited, 2009|
|In the Shadow of Mountains||Phaidon Press Limited||2007|
|Looking East||Phaidon Press Limited||2006|
|Steve McCurry||Phaidon Press Limited||2005|
|The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage||Phaidon Press Limited||2003|
|Sanctuary: The Temples of Angkor||Phaidon Press Limited||2002|
|South Southeast||Phaidon Press Limited||2000|
|Portraits||Phaidon Press Limited||1999|
|Monsoon||Thames and Hudson||1988|
|The Imperial Way - Photographs by Steve McCurry and Text by Paul Theroux||Houghton-Mifflin Company||1985|
- Kadaba, Lini S. (September 12, 2000). "A Far-away Focus Steve Mccurry Captures Fleeting Moments Of Beauty Frame By Frame As He Wanders Throughout South Asia. The World Traveler, Who Hails From Newtown Square, Has Returned To Share His Extraordinary Photographs.". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP=XSpecific_MAG.Biography_VPage&AID=2K7O3R1312JM Biography on Magnum Photos
- http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photographers/photographer-steve-mccurry/ Biography on National Geographic Website
- http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2002/04/afghan-girl/index-text "A Life Revealed- Afghan Girl" by National Geographic
- http://www.kansas.com/2010/07/14/1403115/last-kodachrome-roll-processed.html "Last Kodachrome roll processed in Parsons" by The Wichita Eagle
- Steve McCurry's Official web site (with image galleries)
- One on One With the Masters of Photography- Interview with Steve McCurry which discuss the techniques of his Portrait Photography (2013).
- Steve McCurry's gallery at photographic agency "Sudest57" web site
- 2013 Pirelli Calendar shot by Steve McCurry
- Capturing the Face of Asia - Interview with Steve McCurry in June 2007 by European Culture and Arts online Magazine "Culturekiosque"
- I Visualize Photo Possibilities Wherever I Am - Interview with Steve McCurry in August 2009 by Indian photography web site "Fotoflock.com"
- One on One with Riz Khan - Al Jezeera interview by Riz Khan on his work