BEHIND PHOTOGRAPHS: ARCHIVING PHOTOGRAPHIC LEGENDS began as the personal quest of photographer Tim Mantoani, who spent over five years shooting portraits of 150 photographers, each holding their most iconic or favorite image. The project was shot using a series of rare and mammoth 20×24 Polaroid view cameras and includes such photographers as Elliott Erwitt, Mary Ellen Mark, Steve McCurry, Neil Leifer, William Wegman and Nick Ut.
“Tim Mantoani remembers the moment he first held a 35mm camera in his hand and raised it to his eye to take a photograph of his high school counselor. His love of image making subsequently drew him to Brooks Institute of Photography, where he specialized in advertising photography. After graduation, he became studio manager for renowned photographic educator Dean Collins. Mantoani opened his own San Diego studio in 1995. Mantoani’s credits include:Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and ESPN The Magazine, as well as ad campaigns for Coors, Coca-Cola, EA Sports and Oakley. Tim’s studio is not only full-service; it’s a virtual museum full of “Americana”—an easy place to hang out and conveniently located by the airport. Today, when Tim’s not shooting on assignment, he’s documenting venerable lens men who have collectively captured decades of culture and celebrities with their own cameras. Legendary rock photographers Jim Marshall and Michael Zagaris have sat for 20 x 24-inch Polaroid portraits, as have Walter Iooss, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Pete Turner, Elliott Erwitt, Mary Ellen Mark and Roberto Salas. Tim’s enthusiasm for the medium of photography is undiminished by the changes he’s seen during his career. For him, it’s not work so much as a mission. He sees the story in each face, in each place; and lives to give them a voice through his work.”
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All Images © Tim Mantoani