By Amanda Dyer
Unless you have been living on another planet for the last 29 years, you would have seen this photograph.
The famous ‘Afghan Girl’, whose piercing green eyes stared deeply from the cover of a National Geographic magazine cover in 1985, is one of the most iconic photographs ever taken by man.
This man who took this photo is American born photographer Steve McCurry. Having one of the most iconic voices in the business, this Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native’s work can be seen on dozens of magazines & book covers, over a dozen books and countless exhibitions around the globe. The man has some serious skills!
“What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own, with its own place and feeling.” Steve McCurry
His interesting career took off when he travelled to India in 1978 as a young freelance photographer. With a small backpack full of clothes and a pocketful of film, he managed to cross the border into Pakistan. There he met some Afghan refugees who smuggled him into the tribal mountainous regions before the Russian invasion blocked all Western journalists and photographers.
McCurry lived as one with local tribesmen and was later seen wearing the traditional garb, where he worked tirelessly to bring the world some exclusive photographs of the conflict in Afghanistan, which won him numerous awards and accolades. Amongst which was the Robert Capa Gold Medal for best photographic reporting from abroad.
Steve also brought home something more special than anything else – the image of the ‘Afghan Girl’, which later brought him fame and recognition.
So there you have it folks, the man behind the woman who starred at the world in 1985.
Now let’s take a journey to enjoy some of McCurry’s other iconic work.