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July 28th, 2009

It’s Personal: Tim Mantoani’s ‘Behind Photographs’

Posted by liveBooks

When RESOLVE was just a fledgling, we ran two posts from Greg Gibson titled “It’s never too late to start a personal project.” Since then we’ve seen so many great personal projects, and heard about even more that are still just ideas. By highlighting our faves in this new “It’s Personal” column, we hope to encourage more photographers to turn their great idea into a great personal project.
Elliott Erwitt and Jim Marshall, from Tim Mantoani's "Behind Photographs" project. ©Tim Mantoani Photography Inc.

Elliott Erwitt and Jim Marshall, from Tim Mantoani's "Behind Photographs" project. ©Tim Mantoani Photography Inc.

Name: Tim Mantoani
Website:
www.mantoani.com
Age:
40
Location:
San Diego
Full-time job:
Photographer

Personal project name and description
Behind Photographs — I have been shooting portraits of photographers for the past 2.5 years on 20×24 Polaroid. Each photographer is holding an image they are known for. As many of these photographers, like Polaroid, fade away, I hope these images will be a way for future generation to appreciate the contribution these artists have made.

When and why did you start it?
I started shooting in Dec ’06; I always wanted to try shooting with the 20×24 Polaroid. Since it is expensive to rent, I wanted to shoot something that meant something special to me. I knew both Jim Marshall and Michael Zagaris and asked them to bring in a favorite image to hold for a portrait. It all snowballed from there.

What is your favorite image so far?
Too many great images and memories to call out a single image.

What has been the most challenging thing about the project?
Cost and time. I have really maxed myself out financially shooting this project, but it is all starting to come together now that people can see the work. Sadly, some of the participants have passed away, but it is a great feeling to know that I can help keep their legacies alive.

What has been the most rewarding thing about it?
Being able to spend some time with each of these photographers, to hear their stories and collaborate on the final image.

In your ideal world, where would this project end up?
I would love to see this project in a large venue where I can show all of the images at full size.

Do you recommend personal projects to other photographers, and why?
Every photographer has a personal project they want to shoot. JUST GO DO IT!!!! There will always be a bunch of reasons not to: money, time, risk. But at the end of the day, the images you shoot for YOU are the ones that will be your best and the most rewarding. The roller coaster is more fun than the merry-go-round.

Be Part of the RESOLUTION: Do you have a personal project or know of one that you’d like us to highlight on RESOLVE? Add your suggestions to the comments or email us.


5 Comments

  1. August 26th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Must See: Compelling Web Sites - Lens Blog - NYTimes.com

    […] “Behind Photographs,” Tim Mantoani’s 20-by-24-inch Polaroid portraits of leading photographers holding pictures for which they are renowned, is featured on Miki Johnson’s always excellent Resolve blog on the LiveBooks Web site. (Elliott Erwitt and Jim Marshall are pictured in the lower right corner above.) “I hope these images will be a way for future generation to appreciate the contribution these artists have made,” Mr. Mantoani said in the post. More portraits can be seen on mantoani.com. […]

  2. August 26th, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Must See: Compelling Web Sites - Lens Blog - NYTimes.com

    […] “Behind Photographs,” Tim Mantoani’s 20-by-24-inch Polaroid portraits of leading photographers holding pictures for which they are renowned, is featured on Miki Johnson’s always excellent Resolve blog on the LiveBooks Web site. (Elliott Erwitt and Jim Marshall are pictured in the lower right corner above.) “I hope these images will be a way for future generations to appreciate the contribution these artists have made,” Mr. Mantoani said in the post. More portraits can be seen on mantoani.com. […]

  3. August 27th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Behind Photographs – Tim Mantoani | Teaching Awesomeness to Ninjas since 1954

    […] came across a post on live books with a Questions and Answers session with Tim Mantoani. The Q&A session itself is interesting and Tim’s sign off reply is one that is always […]

  4. December 16th, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Albert Aguinaga

    Hey nice blog!! Can’t wait for your next post

  5. September 9th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    SSA Faculty Spotlight: Tim Mantoani | Sports Shooter Academy

    […] for Tim’s much anticipated new book soon: Behind Photographs (see the SSA sponsor’s liveBooks feature here).Right: Herman Leonard and Tim Mantoani© 2010 Tim MantoaniHerman Leonard & Tim […]

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