Tim Mantoani “Behind Photographs” Project

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I just wanted to point you towards a great project that photographer Tim Mantoani has been working on since 2006.  “Behind Photographs” is a series of portraits of “historic photographers and their images” shot with a 20X24 Polaroid camera.   The Polaroid camera he uses is a rare and mammoth view camera that is not easy to transport – let alone shoot with.  To date Tim has photographed more than 100 photographers.   Somehow I made it into that group which obviously questions his entire selection process.   I’ve got to say that this is to say the least – a very ambitious project – as you know that getting any photographer IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA – is close to impossible (let alone some of the best photographers in the world who are sure to be critical of your work!)

I  had a fantastic time for two reasons:  First, they scheduled my portrait session right after James Nachtwey – which was a huge honor for me on a number of levels.   Second – I NEVER have had a portrait made of me (unless I’m goofing around at the end of a shoot) in close to a decade – and definitely never with a 20X24 Polaroid.   On average Tim shot 1 maybe 2 Polaroids of each photographer – period.  So forget shooting at 10 frames a second or thousands of frames in a portrait session.  It brings it back to the ways things once were – and where they should be… nail the portrait in one, maybe two frames.

Check out Tim’s site here.