Tim Mantoani Behind Photographs Release

San Diego based photographer, Tim Mantoani, released his much—anticipated book, “Behind Photographs—Archiving Photographic Legends” at Ogilvy and Mather in New York last Thursday night. Greeted by an energetic crowd of more than 300 and twenty-two featured photographers, Tim greeted guests gathered for signatures on the pages of photographic history.

“Point, shoot and click.” The digital tweet sounds out as the “Behind Photographs” book launch gets underway and many featured photographers meet each other for the first time. Which inspired the thought, “How lucky we are to all have a portable camera devices that capture our every moment—enabling us to post, promote and remember.” (Above, May Pang, Tim Mantoani).

Back in the day, and for many of the featured photographers in “Behind Photographs,” this was not so. The legends of the photographic arts were at the right place, at the right time, never really knowing what they captured on film would ever add up to much. But thankfully, the smart ones, who held on to their archives of images, pages of contact sheets, binders filled with film negatives and filing cabinets full of prints, can now celebrate their legacy. (Above, Ansel Adams, Kodak history).

Thursday night was a tremendous moment to celebrate lives dedicated to the photo craft. Icons of the photographic industry shook hands, smiled and looked into the eye of the camera to celebrate Tim Mantoani’s mammoth photographic archive, “Behind Photographs.”

Tim Mantoani’s “Behind Photographs” is a coffee table book, beautifully crafted, featuring over 150 20x24” Polaroid photographs within a 11 ¼ x 14 ¼” portrait sized book. Each turn of the page introduces icons of the photographic world, a mammoth who’s who of photography holding their most iconic and favorite photograph. No small accomplishment, as Tim Mantoani purchased a Windsor 20x24” camera (mammoth), all of the Polaroid 20x24” film he could find and then set up temporary photographic studios in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

Six years on the road, with the support of friends and family, Tim archived one photographer at a time starting with James Marshall and Michael Zagaris in San Francisco. Immediately, after the realization to personally add more photographers to his project, Tim set up a satellite studio in New York at the 20x24 Studio managed by photographer John Reuter and another from his home base in San Diego, at Tim Mantoani Photography. This journey was not easy, as in 2008 Polaroid stopped manufacturing Polaroid film for all of its cameras. Needless to say, with the help of all 158 featured photographers, assistants, freelancers and the photographic industry, Tim’s dream has now been realized as a significant photographic resource that archives the craft, equipment, process and split second on film capture that has been replaced by digital photography. “Well almost.”

Upon close examination, “Behind Photographs” is a major contemporary photographic collection that features the iconic images of Hollywood, music, sports, war, politics, fashion, nature and art—often shaping the way we look back at the world. “Behind Photographs” includes images of Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, the Beatles, Muhammad Ali, Andy Warhol, Ernesto Che Guevara, Elvis Presley…and on and the featured talents of Douglas Kirkland, Sandro, John Iacono, Gregg Watermann, Roxanne Lowitt, Douglas Dubler III, May Pang, Bob Gruen, Dan Kramer, Keith Green, Henry Grossman, Barbara Bordnick, Fred Gurner, Jill Enfield, Ryszard Horowitz, John Rueter, Ian Macdonald Smith, Jim McHugh, Lois Greenfield, Thomas D. Mangelsen, Lyle Owerko and John Dominis—who were all in attendance.

Attending “Behind Photographs” was a wonderful experience, as I learned about some of the men and women armed with their camera who never really knew the impact their imagery would have on future generations. It was wonderful to hear about their personal experiences first hand: May Pang with John Lennon, the effervescent Douglas Kirkland with Marilyn Monroe, Lyle Owerko who captured the attack on the Twin Towers, Gregg Watermann about touring with System of a Down, Barbara Bordnick about the “Women in Jazz” series, the comedian/photographer Ian Macdonald Smith and on... Oh yes, I shared moments with all of the featured photographers up close and personal, as Tim’s wife and I wrangled books for signatures throughout the entire night. The energy was great and many of the featured photographers did not want the evening to end.

Tim Mantoani’s “Behind Photographs—Archiving Photographic Legends” is now available for pre-order through Kick Starter. “Why Kick Starter?” Tim is looking to shore up the final production costs of the project and make the impossible, possible. The book is beautiful, richly produced and I am proud to have been a part of the project over the past 3 years. Thankfully, I charged my digital camera to full that night, as it was an evening for the ages. Read more about Tim Mantoani in an exclusive interview here and “Behind Photographs” project overview here.

Related Posts by Categories

Total Pageviews