Famous Photographers Holding Their Iconic Photographs

San Diego-based photographer Tim Mantoani has an awesome project and book titled “Behind Photographs” that consists of 20×24-inch Polaroid portraits of famous photographers posing with their most iconic photographs. The film costs $200 per shot, and Mantoani has created over 150 of the portraits already since starting the project five years ago.

Can you name all of the photographers and photographs? Leave a comment with your answers!

You can find out more about the project and purchase the book over on the website.

Behind Photographs (via Wired)

Image credits: Photographs by Tim Mantoani and used with permission

  • Loretta Vlach

    Where is Michael Childers and Natalie Wood?

  • Anonymous

    Very cool.  I am not sure why but I love seeing who took the photos.

  • Gamittal

    I know it’s Steve McCurry on the Afghan girl. Amazing!!

  • Christopher Pratt

    wow, damn, oh my god, wow, saying a lot of that out loud looking at those photos. great post

  • Larry Souders

    Iconic images made by incredible photograhers

  • Anonymous

    Jeff Widener – Tank Man
    Bill Eppridge
    After doing some research the third might be James Nachtwey… not sure though.
    Neil Leifer – Ali vs Liston (I think)
    Steve McCurry – Afghan Girl

  • Guest

    I’d like to see a list of the names of all the photographers who are included.

  • Sdad

    I know none of the names and only recognise the tank photo because you have featured it recently.  You did ask!  What a waste of effort using an instant picture when the immediacy of a 20×24″ print is surely not relevant.

  • caroline

    Amazing images. I love seeing the faces behind these images.

  • Anonymous

    Some people have no understanding of process, and by some people I mean you. Do you ask a painter why he doesn’t just take a photograph instead, just because it’s quicker and more accurate?

  • Jenlit

    I would love to see the prints. I’ve seen the prints of Mary Ellen Mark’s 20×24 Polaroids of her twins series. It’s amazing to see such detail and clarity. The process of making a 4×5 image can be intense and time consuming. I can only image how that would translate in creating an image at 20×24.

  • Wigger

    Poor fella.  The relevance alone deserves the respect of something as unique as this media.  Just continue to enjoy you McDonald’s, Sit Com or anything else that takes a half effort to produce.

  • LBKing

    Where are the women photographers???

  • Richard
  • Janez

    I need 400$ for the super premium book!

  • Philip Lang

    The image of Bill Eppridge is by far the strongest image here, especially if you know how exactly he feels about that image – he has said he can’t hang it in his house as it brings back emotions that he can’t deal with.

  • Sdad

    It might be a rare medium (sic) but the whole point of instant prints is that they were designed as instant prints!  If you do not need an instant print, you should put your effort into more “traditional” methods to produce a better result rather than a quick one.

  • Sdad

    Sorry, I do not understand the point you are making.  I have never learned well from people giving examples.  If you could actually explain your point, I may come closer.  Thank you.

  • Mphseason

    If my memory serves me right, the gentleman holding the Ali pix was a referee on maybe that fight or maybe some of his other fights ? I remember his face, only younger, from boxing.

  • Anonymous

    “What a waste of effort using an instant picture when the immediacy of a 20×24″ print is surely not relevant.”

    The grammer is so awful I may have missed what you were saying entirely, (english is not your first language I’m guessing) but it seemed like you were essentially saying “why use a giant polaroid when 20×24 prints are so easy to come by nowadays” or something to that effect.

    My response, based off the assumption that was what you were saying, was that there was a specific reason that the polaroid was used for these shots. You cannot call it “a waste” when it is the photographers original intent.

  • Anonymous

    No idea who the photographer is, but I remember a TV segment with him telling the story about the Ali-Liston photo shown here. It looks like Ali was showboating over Liston, which wouldn’t be surprising given his persona. But when they showed video of the moment, it was a split second opportunity, the photographer had just a fraction of a second to capture that image.

    Sometimes, timing and luck are what it takes to get a great photo!

  • Tyler Webb

    I would say that the idea of using an ‘instant’ technique to describe and illustrate photographers who have captured iconic instances is an artistic intention / commentary you may be skipping over. 

  • PanGalactic GargleBlaster

    Hubman38’s got it!

  • Joe Elario

    Alfred Wertheimer’s  . . holding Elvis image , killer.

  • Joe

     .   ..  Seriously  . .  .

  • Blackwidow

    Sdad, you are retarded. Stop your foray into Photography and just mow the lawn or flip burgers.

  • Craigwathall
  • Mark J P

    I really love this project.  Photos alongside the photographers is an absolutely fascinating idea.

  • TJCTPhoto

    I am sorry you were attacked personally and no one took the time to explain that the 20×24 inch polaroid film used although not traditional is not an easy instant approach to any project.
    The camera is huge of course and it takes some getting used to the camera and film. I’m not sure how this project is being produced now since I thought there is no more 20×24 polaroid.
    So the artist choice was 20×24 an ambitious format though not traditional. But it was his choice so maybe it’s better to comment on the subject rather the technique. Either way it’s a personal statement and we’re lucky someone shared it with us.

  • Killermotion

    Ha! Exactly!

  • Aprtmnt26

    Because they are amazing shots that tell a deep story, and it’s always a pleasure seeing who captured that moment in time.

  • Vincent

    there is only 5 pictures on this page. If you look at the whole project off course there are women photographers.

  • Joe Chahwan

    It looks Tim Mantoani did a great state of art project.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Jeff Widener, Tankman,  Bejjing 1989
    2. Bill Eppridge, Dying Robert F Kennedy, LA 1968
    3. Lyle Owerkoof, Time magazine cover, NYC September 14, 2001
    4. Neil Leifer, Ali knocks out Liston, Lewiston ME 1965  
    5. Steve Mccurry, Sharbat Gula -the”Afghan Girl”, Pakistan 1984

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Jaylen watkins

    Very much remember able photos posted. Thanks for it.

  • kate

    Correct spelling for the gentleman with the twin towers is Lyle Owerko… see his work on

  • Robin Anderson Photography

    Amen to TJCTPhoto – I LOVE that this post features then and now.  The choice of format that the artist made is part of his creative prerogative.   If I choose to paint in oils, if is my hope that people enjoy the result and spend no time at all discussing whether or not they approve of my choice of mediums.  

    Photography is a technical art, and I suspect the artistry is getting passed over here…  the forest for the trees.I personally love this piece and shared it on my facebook page for all my photography friends, pros and amateurs.  It is a post that everyone can appreciate and enjoy.Like my mama always said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all”.

  • Tirzah

    Agreed. No women, no people of color. As per usual.