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.

Thanks, Steve!

Follow Steve McCurry’s WordPress.com blogIf you’re not sure where to start, consider these four posts first to sample the stunning work he produces:

Discover other photography and recommended blogs on WordPress.com. 

All photos in this post are copyright Steve McCurry. Photograph of Steve by: Ahmet Sel.


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Sara Rosso

115 Comments

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  1. peerlesscynic

    Beautiful and insightful images, thanks.

  2. pwsatusf2012

    Hi Sara,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your blog post about Steve McCurry’s use of WordPress. I am new to WordPress and find it extremely user friendly as well! Your writing is very professional and the way you incorporated the interview with Steve McCurry and his photos into your post was very well done.
    Beth DeVoll

  3. jonwillcox

    I absolutely love Steve McCurry’s photography, so inspiring. When I visited his exhibition in Birmingham a few years ago I could have stayed there the whole day, breathtaking!

  4. loverofwords20

    I most definitely do not have the photography knack, but I so enjoy studying extremely well-done photographs – to actually see a story, disguised as a mere picture. Thank you! I look forward to seeing more pics of this caliber. :-)

  5. 54zach34

    Your pictures are excellent and they really capture the moment.

  6. Sara

    Awesome images. It’s not easy to make real subjects look so surreal. I’m not very familiar with Steve McCurry. I’m definitely going to look up more of his work.

  7. Butterfly Jewel

    Love this post! It’s definitely inspiring even if one is not a photographer. Whatever we do, whether it’s photography or something else, when it has meaning to us, we will be successful. Thanks :-)

  8. uphilldowndale

    What a joy to view. Thank you.

  9. pixelednina

    Do you know? I knew Steve through WordPress. I mean, I ever saw the Afghan Girl photo somewhere else, but I didn’t even know who the photographer was. Thanks WordPress I accidentally opened his blog during my blogwalking time and OMG, he’s a maestro.

  10. Pino Soprano

    - Stupende.

  11. Nina Shadi

    These images are soo amazing. Photography is one of my hobbies, but I’m no where near at this level…and most people are not: / Thanks for sharing!

  12. PiedType

    Wish the photos had been linked to background information. I’m dying to know what was going on in that photo with hundreds of people out on piers (?).

    • Sara Rosso

      @PiedType – We definitely couldn’t fit everything into the post! Steve has some incredible archives I’m sure you’ll enjoy exploring.

  13. Amal Osman

    “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.” Inspiring words from an extraordinary photographer.

  14. eslgirlvg

    All I can say can be described in one word: beautiful

  15. ancientfoods

    All I can say is,his work is impressive!

  16. Mircea Dobre

    very beautiful these pictures

  17. fransiweinstein

    Incredible work!

  18. ideeintavola

    Wonderful images!!

  19. Angeline M

    Thanks for introducing me to this incredibly great photographer. Following talented people like this on WordPress helps me learn in my initial steps into this craft.
    Sara, can you put in a word for those of us experiencing problems in the last couple of days in uploading photos? That would be so much appreciated. Thank you.

  20. Miguel

    The images are so stunning I opted to see all photos before returning back to the words. :)

  21. elisabettabottiroli

    Just wow!!!! Hope to be good the half of this talent one day!

  22. Chorwin

    Very good interview and motivation to photographers out there….

  23. usmanhashmi

    Beautiful Images..

  24. The Clarences

    LOVE the Geisha coming up the stairs picture!

  25. susielindau

    Amazing! Thanks for giving us the head’s up about Steve and his work. I will gladly follow him!

  26. Larry Murray

    Steve McCurry’s compositions make him the Beethoven and Beatles of photography. I love the way he blends classic styles in new ways that delight the eye. As we get more of our information from visual sources than from written words, he owns the cutting edge where art meets technology.

  27. artblablablablog

    wow! what a talent!

  28. klovesmusic

    What a beautiful post! The pictures are breathtaking.

  29. woodscrone

    Truly awesome photos. The lighting is so dramatic. You capture the essence of the people/situation.

  30. Brigitte Nioche

    Looking at your pictures of individuals I feel like I connect with them – they touch me in a very special way – a wonderful experience
    Thank You

  31. parrillaturi

    His work of art is so amazing! I wish I could capture what these individuas were thinking as he took their pictures. I love the way he allows us to see what he is trying to convey through these photographs.

  32. Kojiki

    One word Fantastic!

  33. jiltaroo

    What a treat!

  34. accamv

    Great pictures each one tells a story.

  35. myritingboard

    Love the pictures . . .Did i say i Love the pictures? Fantastic pictures.

  36. Peter Slutsky

    Reblogged this on Peter H. Slutsky.

  37. praisehimalways

    Wonderful photographs, I just love the quotes below most of them. So inspiring.

  38. emilysjourneysabroad

    I saw his photo exhibition in Dubrovnik, Croatia this May. It was absolutely stunning and definitely one of the highlights of my time in Croatia. I have requested his Iconic Photographs coffeetable book for Christmas, can’t wait!

  39. pixelvoyages

    Thank you so much for bringing this interview to us. I totally second Steve’s view that a great picture is one that stays with you – his Afghan girl is one that is etched in my memory. He is one inspiration to us aspiring bloggers and photographers. It means so much to hear from him!

  40. spEakAhoy

    Beautiful pics…You rock :)

  41. EY

    It is a beautiful blog. You have done very well. Thank you Sara. Thank you Steve.

  42. Abhay Bhat

    A real life inspirer has hit photo-blogging. Kudos!!

  43. Madras Techs

    I have seen these photos before but now I know who it was… And the design of his new blog is awesome too…

  44. Bill

    Re. Steve’s first remark: blogging is a medium (singular). Blogs are media (plural).

  45. utomosetyo2008

    It’s an amazing post with so much inspiration. Love the pictures!
    thanks for sharing!

  46. Umoja

    Beautiful colours

  47. LotSpot

    great pictures thanks for sending friendly greetings from Holland, Wim

  48. bebusaim

    Extremely nice photo blog.

  49. huawei89

    I like those with kids one..adorable!

  50. fhars

    I love the pictures, this wonderful and expressive images.

  51. MikesFilmTalk

    Astonishingly beautiful photographs. Lovely. Oh, lovely blog post as well! :-D

  52. KatiaMattioli (@katia_mattioli)

    Wonderful pictures with a little touch of poetry.

  53. designmixer

    Amazing story telling talent of Steve McCurry. He absoluetly knows what he is doing and he expresses what is around him so well
    I must say from his perspective people look more dramatic than the actually life

  54. blackbook44

    Thank You both, Sara and Steve. Very insightful…

  55. amuart

    he is a genius!!!

  56. Ignacio Nacho Zaballa

    I am a photography lover, and for me it is a pleasure and honour to see your work!

  57. thefolia

    Unforgettable.

  58. masqua

    I admire Steve’s understanding of the importance colour holds in photography, which is evident in much of his work. There is an artistic value in black and white, but, when using colour photography, the most stunning facet, in my estimation, is focused on complimentary hues.

  59. doraiswamyganesh

    Simply beautiful.I would love to see more of your photographic work.Thanks.Ganesh.

  60. thelawguysa

    Impressive. I remember that Afghan Girl photo, very inspiring.

  61. Alfredo (@Alfredo0275)

    Very outstanding and amazing pictures!

  62. shabaletta2

    WOW! what an awesome photographer!!!!

  63. Not a secret

    Amazing work!

  64. shanky87

    There are so many colours in his photographs… just love how he tries to capture all the worldly treasures in his pics.
    Thanks for sharing :)

  65. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm

    Thank you for very a wonderful pictures.I love to read this magazine National Geography.

  66. romessecretsupperclub

    We caught the exhibition in Rome earlier this year. Incredible.

  67. gooseyanne

    What a wonderful post and thank you for introducing me to the work of this fabulous photographer. I was, of course, familiar with his portrait of the Aghan girl but didn`t know his name. Wow!

  68. cravesadventure

    Beautiful Post – loving the photos – AMAZING!

  69. oscarcastedo

    beautiful post, awesome photos! nice to read something about this great photographer!

  70. Inge

    Very good interview. This really is helpful to me as an amateur photographer.
    Thanks for sharing this great article.

  71. aoifem1

    These pictures are in creditable. I love how intense these photos are. They show a lot of detail but also leave a sense of mystery in them as well.

  72. Donna

    Amazing photos!

  73. Jane Lurie

    Steve McCurry’s blog is the reason I started my WordPress blog. He is an inspiration to me- I love the themes he creates and makes me strive to be a better photographer with each one I receive. WordPress has given me a way to connect with like-minded artists and share my vision. Thank you!

  74. Ree

    I was lucky enough to have had the chance to visit his exhibition last summer while on a holiday in Dubrovnik. Brilliant work!

  75. Funcionario Express

    People integrated into the environment. Perfect.

  76. itskandysugabeat

    This is simply beautiful. I love the blend of graphical writing and beautiful images. I am so inspired this would change how I blog. Thanks for these masterpieces.

  77. AadiRohilla

    HI Sara, beautiful pics!! Thanks for sharing!!

  78. captpandit

    Mr Steve,
    Very nice works of art. It is always great to look at your photographs. Have a nice day

  79. muhd akbar

    Wow, great work, awesome photos

  80. This Crazy Mama

    I was thinking about his famous photo of the girl on my run the other morning. I have no idea what made me think of it at the time, but that is what is so amazing about art. It sticks with you.

  81. llarigsabravo

    Hey Steve! Hey Sarah! Thank you both for sharing this wonderful, creative force of art and hope to join you both soon. With Love, Llarigsa.:)

  82. Ricardo Vilela

    Reblogged this on Photojournalism.

  83. Ricardo Vilela

    The best photographer ever.

  84. lpiersantelli

    Really beautiful and exciting photos by a great artist!!

  85. abdi32

    Reblogged this on abdi32 and commented:
    nice story.

  86. armsekram

    Amazing , awesome and thought provoking.

    • s.rajah iyer

      Simply stunning and to see the many colours of Creation…inspiring indeed.

  87. hashimeansbridge

    Wow. Stunning photographs.

  88. emmades

    Really enjoyed the combination of the photographic arrangement and the content. Very informative blog. Thank you for sharing :o) Now to check out the art :o)

  89. Zakiya

    Love your pictures. The colors draw me in and make me smile while capturing the heart of your subjects. Include Pinterest in your sharing options so we can post them to our boards. Thanks!

  90. blogfatosemfotos

    Excellent.!!!!!

  91. nastarte

    Beautiful and nice pictures, thanks!

  92. Srdjana

    So inspiring and beautiful. Sara, thank you both for sharing.

  93. inquisitive shadow

    Beautifully captured.

  94. e

    The pic of the woman in her flooded yard….. wonderful.

  95. Eduardo Mendoza

    Amazing post! It’s great to see one of the greatest is using the same platform to show his work, and the things Steve says about WP usefulness!

  96. G

    Thanks Steve. We are glad you are here. Keep sharing!

  97. Shane McDonald (@shanesphoto)

    An Amazing body of work which I can only wish one day I could emulate one hundreth of … Great Post !

  98. ancajasjp

    i simply love the pictures!

  99. Joydeep Mitra

    What an inspiration this is for amateurs like me…to keep pushing the envelope.

  100. thesilverchicken

    Beautiful post. Wonderful pictures!

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