The Influencers - Portraits, Steve McCurry
I would think that for any photographer having your first book published is a major, major big deal - I know it is for me. With my new book starting to hit the stores I know I have been thinking a lot about the books that were a big influence on me, and also had a direct effect on the decisions I made about how I wanted my book to be created. So today and tomorrow I thought I would try something different and share with you a few of the books that have had the biggest influence on my work.
One of the first and most important photography books I ever bought was this book: Portraits by Steve McCurry. I love the dignity in which he shoots such a wide range of people and cultures. I love the intimacy and connection that you feel with his subjects. I also thought that the concept of his lifestyle (traveling around the world alone taking pictures of whoever you found interesting) was so romantic. I never dreamed when I bought this book that I would end up creating my own version of that lifestyle. To learn more about Steve McCurry check out his website and his fantastic new blog.
The other, more literal way that the book influenced me was the small size of it. I found over the years that because the book was small it sat on top of all my other books. It was so easy to just pick it up and flip through it quickly without making a major commitment to moving around a huge stack of books. It was this lack of preciousness and ease that made it so easy to live with. When I was still in sales and photography was just an innocent hobby I would throw this book in my backpack and enjoy it on boring flights to Tulsa or Denver. Because I wanted my book to have this same lack of preciousness and hopefully the same impact on other young photographers and fashion designers it seemed a no-brainer to choose this size for my first book.
Portraits, I believe, is still relatively easy to find. Check these links, or on eBay.