the most famous portrait of all times

November 15, 2013

The most famous portrait portrait of all times is arguably Steve McCurry’s, “Afghan Girl”. This iconic photograph barely made it to the National Geographic cover in 1985, which landed Steve McCurry’s career and sold the most issues for National Geographic magazine. I wonder if Steve McCurry would be known had they decided not to use that portrait and I also wonder if National Geographic would still be around?

This image is in my mind every time I capture a new headshot, so I am also thankful to Steve and to National Geographic for choosing the Afghan Girl as the cover of the 1985 National Geographic.

Sharbat Gula the model of the most famous portrait of all time was born in Afghanistan in 1972, she was a 12 yrs old Palestinian refugee at the time that Steve McCurry captured her image. The Russian’s had destroyed her home but a few weeks prior to this image being taken. Hence the powerful emotions being emitted by this photogrpah, I wonder if either Steve McCurry or National Geographic Magazine compensated her in any way when they found her again in January of 2002.

January of 2002, Steve McCurry and National Geographic re acquainted themselves with Sharbat Gula the model for the most famous portrait of all times. Once again she was borrowed for a photography session. It was an interesting image, but not the same emotional capsule as she once was at aged 12 following the Russian raid in her home. Should I become a world recognized photographer one day? I will meet with her, and thank her and compensate her for the lessons learned.