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Photographer portraits shot on the rare and mammoth format of 20x24 Polaroid.
Photographer portraits shot on the rare and mammoth format of 20x24 Polaroid.
168 backers pledged $17,140 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Behind Photographs: Archiving Photographic Legends Book project video thumbnail
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For the past five years, I have been making portraits of noted photographers on the rare and mammoth format of 20x24 Polaroid. In each case, the photographer is holding one of their favorite or most iconic images. Neil Leifer's image of Muhammad Ali standing over a knocked-out Sonny Liston, Harry Benson's epic photo of The Beatles having a pillow fight and Steve McCurry's famed portrait of the Afghan Girl from the cover of National Geographic to name a few. At the bottom of each Polaroid, the photographer has been asked to write out a short story about their image in their own penmanship. In cases, these words are as revealing about the photographer as the image itself. This project includes over 150 photographers from a variety of specialties and has taken me across The United States, shooting in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Boston.

The series contains numerous historical images and image makers, and has evolved to become a vehicle to preserve photographic history. While people are familiar with many of the images, including numerous Pulitzer Prize winning photographs in this project, most would otherwise never know the photographers who made them. My hope is that this project will become a way for future generations to not only appreciate the photography of our time, but the photographers as well. Cameras did not make these photographs, the photographers did. Without the dedication of photographers, like these passionate men and women, history would not have been recorded through their eyes and these moments they hold would not exist for our observation. Some of these photographers not only documented their generation but, their photographs have defined it.

I hope you will help support the publishing of this book here on Kickstarter, the costs of this self-funded project have been immense. It was important to me that these images not only be made, but shared and I truly hope you enjoy them, as much as, I have enjoyed the journey and challenge of taking on this project.

Thanks for your time,

Tim Mantoani

PLEASE NOTE: This book does include a few images that depict war, death or nudity. These images were ground breaking photographs in news, fashion and journalism. Some images may not be appropriate for children, parental guidance is suggested.

The book includes several Behind The Scenes images from the project.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A groovy t-shirt with Tim’s 20x24 Polaroid photo of the 20x24 Polaroid Camera on the front. Includes shipping, international patrons add $20.00.

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    9 backers
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    A 24x36 poster print of a full sized 20x24 Polaroid, featuring Jim Marshall and his iconic image of Johnny Cash, signed by Tim Mantoani. Includes domestic shipping, international patrons add $35.00.

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A hardbound copy of Behind Photographs, signed by Tim Mantoani. The book is 11x14 and over 200 pages. Includes domestic shipping, international patrons add $65.00 for secure shipping, it weighs 5 pounds!

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    102 backers
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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    A hardbound copy of Behind Photographs, signed by Tim Mantoani and a t-shirt. The book is 11x14 and over 200 pages. Includes domestic shipping, international patrons add $65.00 for shipping.

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    29 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A hardbound copy of Behind Photographs, signed by Tim Mantoani, a t-shirt and 24x36 signed poster. The book is 11x14 and over 200 pages. Includes domestic shipping, international patrons add $75.00 for secure shipping, weighs 8 pounds.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    A copy of the Special Edition of Behind Photographs (limited to 150). This edition comes in a cloth clamshell box and includes a cloth covered, hardbound book and nine, 9x12 collector print cards. Cards and book are signed by Tim Mantoani. You will also get a t-shirt and get to be the envy of all of your photo friends. Includes domestic shipping, international patrons add $75.00.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    A copy of the Special Edition of Behind Photographs (limited to 150). This edition comes in a cloth clamshell box and includes a cloth covered, hardbound book and nine, 9x12 collector print cards. Cards and book are signed by Tim Mantoani. You will also get a t-shirt and poster and get to be the envy of all of your photo friends. Includes domestic shipping, international patrons add $75.00.

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    Reward no longer available 4 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Come to Tim’s studio in San Diego for your own portrait taken on 20x24 Polaroid with his 20x24 Wisner Camera. You will also receive a Special Edition of Behind Photographs and t-shirt. This is just the photo session, no travel or travel expenses included. You will walk away with an original 20x24 Polaroid portrait of yourself.

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Funding period

- (30 days)