The Book is here! Tim Mantoani: Behind Photographs, Archiving Photographic Legends

Tim Mantoani: For the past five years, I have been making portraits of noted photographers on the rare and mammoth format of 20×24 Polaroid. In each case, the photographer is holding one of their favorite or most iconic images. Neil Leifer’s image of Muhammad Ali standing over a knocked-out Sonny Liston, Harry Benson’s epic photo of The Beatles having a pillow fight and Steve McCurry’s famed portrait of the Afghan Girl from the cover of National Geographic to name a few. 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.

The series contains numerous historical images and image makers, and has evolved to become a vehicle to preserve photographic history. While people are familiar with many of the images, including numerous Pulitzer Prize winning photographs in this project, most would otherwise never know the photographers who made them. My hope is that this project will become a way for future generations to not only appreciate the photography of our time, but the photographers as well. 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.

This book is an incredible historic document, to order your copy go to