Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today’s finest image makers, has won many of photography’s top awards. Best known for his evocative color photography, McCurry, in the finest documentary tradition, captures the essence of human struggle and joy. As a member of Magnum Photos since 1986, McCurry has searched and found the unforgettable; many of is images have become modern icons.
Born in Philadelphia, McCurry graduated cum laude from the College of Arts and Architecture at Pennsylvania State University. After working at a newspaper for two years, he left for India to freelance. It was in India 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 Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes of images that would be published around the world as among the first to show the conflict there. His coverage won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, and award dedicated to photographers exhibiting exceptional courage and enterprise. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association. That was the same year in which he won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo Contest. He has won the Olivier Rebbot Memorial Award twice.
Steve McCurry has covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including the Iran - Iraq war, the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War, and continuing coverage of Afghanistan. He focuses on the human consequences of war, not only showing what war impresses on the landscape, but rather, on the human face.
McCurry is driven by an innate curiosity and sense of wonder about the world and everyone in it. “I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person’s face.”