EN – Steve McCurry (born February 24, 1950) is an American editorial photographer best known for his photograph “Afghan Girl” which was originally appeared in National Geographic magazine.
Born in a suburb of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), he graduated from the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in cinematography.
After working for a local newspaper for two years he travelled to India and it is there that he discovered his passionate interest in the religion. Rather than the usual documentary photographic style of short-term projects Steve McCurry has allowed time for his projects to mature to gain deeper insights into the region by returning to locations he has already photographed to get a different perspective.
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.”
McCurry has covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Tibet.
He focuses on the human consequences of war, not only showing what war impresses on the landscape, but rather, on the human face. McCurry has published books including The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon(1988), Portraits (1999), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary (2002), The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage (2003), Steve McCurry (2005), and Looking East(2006).
His work is highly respected and he has won numerous prestigious awards including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, Magazine Photographer of the Year and an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo contest in the same year.