Renowned photographer Steve McCurry recently sat down with journalist Kate Snow for a drink and to chat about his life and career. This 15-minute segment by NBC Nightly News offers a peek into the mind of the celebrated (and recently controversial) photographer of Afghan Girl fame.
One of McCurry’s original motivations for becoming a photographer was a desire to travel the world. After not being able to get a job in filmmaking — his original path — McCurry got a job with his local newspaper as a photographer.
After getting bored with covering local news, McCurry bought a one-way ticket and headed to India. He would later go into Afghanistan, which became his big break in the photo industry after Russia invaded the country.
McCurry also reveals that he’s actually quite shy by nature — he deals with the same struggles that are common among photographers, whether they’re a beginner or a seasoned vet.
“[Approaching strangers] is a bit hard because I tend to be a bit shy,” McCurry tells Snow. “I have to really force myself to go and explain can I [take your photo], because we all hate rejection. I just have to literally push myself to go up.”
But McCurry’s fear of failure helps him overcome other fears.
“I realized that I couldn’t do the work at the highest possible level in the best way if I didn’t fully commit to the way to work,” McCurry says. “I don’t want to be home looking at these pictures and have regrets that I didn’t give it my best shot.”