World’s greatest Portraits Headshots Image

June 11, 2010

The Afghan Girl

World’s Greatest Portrait

The cover of National Geographic Magazine in June of 1985, was and is the worlds greatest portrait of all time’s, photographed by Steve McCurry. This photograph is the reference for my career, business and all our photographers dedicated to portrait headshots. We recreate her essence in every photography headshot by Art of Headshots Studios.

Gula’s village was attacked by a Soviet Union Helicopter that bombed her Village in Afghanistan and killed both of her parents, forcing her and her Grandmother to evacuate to Pakistan.

Steve McCurry was rarely given an opportunity to photograph as a background photographer on assignment with National Geographic Magazine. Picked up his Nikon FM2 camera, loaded with Kodachrome slide film and Nikkor 105 mm F2.5 lens and snapped two images of “The Afghan Girl”, while visiting the Nasir Bagh regugee camp in Pakistan.

What makes this image so captivating?

One’s heart yearns to help

Often, I ask students to theorize what makes this famous portrait so captivating? Some try to be witty, with a unique answer, but most don’t know the answer to a subjective question. The most common answer I receive is that the complementary colours makes this portrait or that the eyes are in the left third quadrant.

Besides the Mona Lisa, there is no other portrait that is as recognized as the Afghan Girl.

Look at her eyes. What do you see? Look again? Do you see beautiful girls green eyes? Or do you see rage and anger? It’s a encapsulated story beyond thousand of words, its psychological and deep. Flawless and beautiful, the perfect pose, complementary colours, but the most important piece is what we can’t acknowledge consciously but sub-consciously we yearn to help her at a moment of distress.

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