A few years back, The English Group was privileged indeed to be given access to Polaroid’s stupendous 20″ x 24″ camera and to be invited to shoot images of film and TV stars attending the British Academy of Film & Television Arts’ two annual awards events. So it is with interest that I see this project using the same camera as shot by San Diego-based photographer Tim Mataoni who has sought to show us the people behind iconic photographs by taking portraits of them with their famous works. Mantoani’s book titled ‘Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends’ consists of 20×24-inch Polaroid portaits including Steve McCurry with his famous Afghan Girl—amongst other equally famous photographers.
According to Mantoani—who shot over 150 of these portraits in the last five years—at a time where everyone and anyone can easily be a photographer, he feels the need to help people understand that iconic photos don’t just happen.
Giving these people a face, he says, helps give them the credit they deserve.
“Without these people and their understanding of photography, these moments would not be there for us to understand and appreciate over the course of time,” he adds.
The photographers are, in order:
Mary Ellen Mark