Iconic Photographer Steve McCurry Talks Blogging and WordPress
Steve McCurry, a professional photographer and author of several photography books, shares his reasons for why he blogs on WordPress.com. His iconic photo, Afghan Girl, graced the cover of National Geographic and was named one of the 100 Best Pictures of the magazine. McCurry has been recognized with some of the most prestigious awards in the industry, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal, National Press Photographers Award, and an unprecedented four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest, to name a few.
You are a world-famous photographer. Why do you blog?
Steve: Who would even dream 20 years ago that we would even have the internet? Clearly the internet is changing the landscape of publishing, news, and entertainment. There are countless channels on television, infinite content on the internet, and stimuli literally everywhere we turn. . . . There is so much competition. My blog is just my way of introducing my work through this new media.
How has having a blog changed the way you interact with your audience?
Steve: Generally, I don’t see any difference between photographing now and 30 years ago! The only differences today are that people want you to send them a picture and that you are shooting with a digital camera. There will always be new people and situations. In so far as there are new songs to be written, new poems to be told, likewise there will always be a new photograph to be taken! One way in which things today are different is in the suddenly vital role that web presence plays in a photographer’s success today. Having a blog with WordPress allows me to put up some of my most current work or related photos together in an impactful way.
Why did you choose WordPress.com over the other options available to you?
Steve: It’s intuitive, flexible, and easy to use. Much more user-friendly.
Are there features of WordPress.com that have been particularly useful to you?
Steve: There are a lot of theme options and I use a free theme with Custom Design with custom CSS to give it a look and feel I like. Many of the WordPress.com features don’t require me to know coding and are free, and uploading pictures is fast and efficient.
How do you choose which photographs will make a good blog post?
Steve: What is important to my work is the individual picture. I photograph stories on assignment, and of course they have to be put together coherently. But what matters most is that each picture stands on its own with its own place and feeling. I think the definition of a great picture is one that stays with you, one you can’t forget.
Which of your posts has had the most impact on your readers, and why?
Steve: It was a privilege to go to the Omo Valley in Ethiopia with my friend, John Rowe, to photograph the work he is doing with Lale Labuko in their work to end the practice of mingi (abandonment of “impure” children) and to house and shelter the mingi children who have already been rescued.
What advice would you give budding photographers on building their web presence?
Steve: If you want to be a photographer, you have to photograph. If you look at the photographers whose work we admire, they’ve found a particular place or a subject, dug deep into it, and carved out something that’s become special. And that takes a lot of time and a lot of work — that’s not for everyone. Regardless of how successful you are, it’s important for you to spend your time photographing things that matter to you. You need to understand the things that have meaning to you, and not what others think is important for you. Having a blog is one of the easiest ways for your to get your work out to a wide audience.
Follow Steve McCurry’s WordPress.com blog! If you’re not sure where to start, consider these four posts first to sample the stunning work he produces:
All photos in this post are copyright Steve McCurry. Photograph of Steve by: Ahmet Sel.