For the past five years, Tim Mantoani, has been making portraits of noted photographers, holding their most iconic image, on the rare and huge format of a 20×24 Polaroid camera. He created a book showcasing 158 photographers with their iconic images. He funded his presales for this project through kickstarter, a website dedicated for people to help fund their projects, by self promotion.
Tim wrote on his kickstarter page, “At the bottom of each Polaroid, the photographer has been asked to write out a short story about their image in their own penmanship. In cases, these words are as revealing about the photographer as the image itself. This project includes over 150 photographers from a variety of specialties and has taken me across The United States, shooting in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Boston.”
Steve McCurry : “Peshawar, Pakistan 1984 | I looked for this girl for 17 years and finally found her in 2002. her name is Sharbat Gula.”
Phil Stern : ” NO… I don’t know what she was thnking – 1953 at L.A. hospital Benefit.” – Marilyn Monroe
Lyle Owerko : ” …I did the best job I could in photographing 9/11 so that future generations would have an idea of the scope of what happened, to have evidence of how innocence can so easily be snatched away in a razor’s edged moment. My hope is that in time the wounds and the pain will heal and that wisdom and peace will prevail amoung the darkness of the event, so that humanity can move forward into a time of grace and understanding..”
Elliott Erwitt : “The picture I am holding was snapped in 1974 just across the street form my apartment in New York’s Central Park. It has been 38 years since that event and sadly I have lost track of the participants.”
Nick Ut : June 8, 1972 ; Trang bang village : Kim Phuc 9 year old girl: South Vietnam drop napalm in her village.” – Nick and Kim still keep in touch
David Doubilet : “Circle of Barracude, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea…The school of barracudas circle the diver three times amd pow they were gone into a dark afternoon sea. The oceans of the world have no straight lines; geometry like a perfect circle is a rare thing, but these barracudas do this as a defense. .. 70% of our planet is an ocean . It is a place of infinite beauty. It is a place where light behaves in a very different manner..A world without corners that may be gone by the end of this century…”
Bill Eppridge: “June 5 1968.” – The assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Mark Seliger : “Originally an inside opener for Rolling Stones cover story of Nirvana in conjunction with the release of ” in Utero’, my first polaroid (with negative) was by far the most emotional and revealing of his spirit. Two months later Kurt died of self inflicted gunshot wound to his head. This photograph became the memorial for the RS cover..”
Bob Gruen : “John Lennon asked me to come to his penthouse apt on the east side of New York to take pictures for the cover of his ‘Walls and Bridges’ album. After we took a series of portraits for the record cover, we took some informal shots to use for publicity. i asked him if he still had the New York City t-shirt I had given him a year earlier and he went and put it on and we made this photo.”
Michael Halsband : ” Originally made for a poster to advertise a show of collaborative paintings. I am happy + proud of this photograph. It sums up everything I love about photography and my work. Photographed in my studio, New York City July 10, 1985. “ – Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat
Roberto Salas : “My first image of Che Guevara in Habana, Jan. 1959. I was 18 years old. Now a bit more.” – Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.
Mary Ellen Mark : ” I am holding my photograph of Ram Prakash Singh with his beloved elephant Shyama – taken in 1990. Ram Prakash Singh was the ringmaster of the ” The Great Golden Circus”- The photograph was done in Ahmedabad India – This was part of my Indian Circus Project-… Unfortunately Shayama died a few months after this photograph was taken – supposedly he succumbed to a poisoned chapatti – Ram Prakash Singh was heartbroken – me also.”
Ron Galella : “Oct 4, 1971. NYC ” Windblown Jackie” This was my lucky day! I followed Jackie leaving her 5th Ave Apt on 85th St. She turned the corner going up Madison Ave. Instead of running up to her, i hopped a taxi to catch up to her at 91st and the cab driver blew his horn, Jackie turned for the third, lucky shot-exclusive, off guard, spontaneous, unrehearsed-the only game-hide to capture the natural qualities. Da Vinci had his Mona Lisa, I got it in my Mona Lisa smile.”
Herman Leonard : “It was early 1948 at the Royal Roost in New York. An afternoon rehearsal gave me a unique opportunity to photograph many giants of jazz with my trusty 4×5 Speed Graphic. What a great career! To do what you love and be entertained at the same time!”
Howard Bringham : “Two Fighters” – Nelson Mandela and Muhammad Ali
Charles Moore : ” One day in Montgomery Alabama there were some demonstrations for Civil Rights led by Martin Luther King- I went into the downtown area where Dr. King was speaking when two policemen came up and placed Dr. King under arrest. I immmediately started and photographed the police pushing Dr.King on the stret leading to the Montgomery Jail. After the photo of him being pushed down the street to the jail, I followed the police with Dr. King into the jail where he was booked- I went behind the counter where i could see the police and Dr. King with his wife int he photo. I also wanted to see the jailor as he gave the police jail keys.” – 1958
An inside look at Mantoani Studios, during a shoot with photographer Art Streiber, with the 20×24 Polaroid camera.
“Cameras did not make these photographs, the photographers did. Without the dedication of photographers, like these passionate men and women, history would not have been recorded through their eyes and these moments they hold would not exist for our observation. Some of these photographers not only documented their generation but, their photographs have defined it.” – Tim Mantoani