McCurry's Work Teaches a Portrait is All About The Connection

Steve McCurry is one of the most iconic portrait photographers of our time. His photo of the Afghan Girl one of the most recognized images in history. Now in Italy there is an exhibition of McCurry's work from over the last 40 years being featured at the Villa Reale di Monza. In this short 5-minute video not only do we get to see how the art installation came together while preserving the history of the Villa but we also learn some incredible advice from McCurry himself on being a successful photographer.

Not wanting to disturb the history and walls of the Villa, the curators of the collection decided that rather than feature McCurry's images on the walls hung up they would design features that would display the work in windows, hallways and carefully arranged in door frames. This would allow the work to be featured while complimenting the monumental archictecture of the Villa. Over 150 images are on display there now through April 6, 2015. 

Check out the video above to see a glimpse into how this beautiful gallery installation came together and the images that will surely inspire you there. In addition, I found that while watching the video I picked up some fantastic advice from McCurry about what it takes to be a successful photographer. His advice for having a rewarding career is focused around being passionate and really committing yourself to the work. These characteristics are very evident in the connection that McCurry is able to form with the subjects he photographs. His images are not just documenting what he sees but rather the connection he has with those he is photographing. 

"I would hope that my work in a way shows the shared humanity that we have. I have been photographing people all over the world and I think what I have always tried to do is show what we have in common." - Steve McCurry

Are you as focused and determined to succeed as McCurry? If you need a little motivational 'pick-me-up' be sure to watch the beautifully done video and listen to the words of McCurry as he talks about what it took to find success over the last 40 years. Lastly, if you have a chance to experience the gallery in person I imagine it would be an experience you wouldn't soon forget. 

[via designbloom]

Trevor Dayley's picture

Trevor Dayley ( was named as one of the Top 100 Wedding Photographers in the US in 2014 by Brandsmash. His award-winning wedding photos have been published in numerous places including Grace Ormonde. He and his wife have been married for 15 years and together they have six kids.

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The way that he captures eyes is out of this world. He reveals a persons soul.

Awesome video, thanks for posting this up TD! I'd love to check out this exhibition - aside from Steve's incredible work, how they've housed it in the space looks amazing!

As a small aside, anyone know why he tends to shoot with his left hand over the lens barrel and pressing the shutter? Didn't ever know that until this video where he does it several times when taking a shot.

"He swings the heavy camera nimbly to his eye. The style is original; he broke his right arm as a child and it has not worked properly since. That’s why his own camera has a handle fixed to the tripod mount and he relies on automatic focusing."

From an interview with Photo Raw Magazine:

If you look closely at the cap you posted, you can see he presses the shutter with the middle finger of his left hand. As Eric mentioned below his right hand is not able to hold the camera the "normal" way but he holds it with a handle. Wonder how he held the camera before AF though.. maybe he had a lighter weight camera back then?

I'd like to visit that exhibition in monza. Anyone from there can tell me where the next airport is and how to get there?
Got a long weekend of 4 days left this year and no plans so far :)

40 years. Can't believe the man still produces stunning images and sounds just as passionate about them.

I've been in Monza at the opening of the exhibition, and I had the pleasure to talk with Steve Mc Curry and with the architect of the exhibition: here you can see the pictures I shot inside Villa Reale (sorry, the article is in italian):
Monza is very close to Milan (Italy) and to get there you must use Milan's airports (Linate is the closest)

The Gun on the head photo is very disturbing