Everybody Has a Story


Kabul, Afghanistan


Sidon, Lebanon

Six billion of us walking the planet, six billion smaller worlds
on the bigger one. 

Six billion stories, every one an epic, full of tragedy and triumph,
good and evil, despair and hope.

– Dean Koontz


Baalbek, Lebanon

People are hungry for stories. It’s part of our very being.
Storytelling is a form of history, of immortality too.
It goes from one generation to another.
— Studs Terkel

LEBANON-10067, Lebanon, Druze Elders, 03/1982

Druze Elders, Lebanon

All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a story to live by.
-Harvey Cox


Rajasthan, India


Scientists who study the brain tell us that we are
hardwired for storytelling and
understanding the world through stories and metaphors.

FRANCE-10019, PËre Lachaise Cemetery, France, Political, 08/1988

Père Lachaise Cemetery, France



Shalimar Bagh, Kashmir


If history were taught in the form of stories,
it would never be forgotten

 – Rudyard Kipling


Maimana, Afghanistan

 …Without a story you have not got a nation, or culture, or civilization.
Without a story of your own, you haven’t got a life of your own.
—Laurens Van der Post


Poet Khalil Khoury, Iraq

People did not wait until there was writing before they told stories and sang songs.
— Albert Bates Lord


Golden Temple, Amritsar, India


Near Al Hudaydah, Yemen



Texas, USA

Their story, yours and mine — it’s what we all carry with us on this trip we take, and
we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them.

— William Carlos Williams


Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, USA


Jimmy Swaggart, Louisiana



La Fortuna, Honduras

The universe is made of stories, not atoms.
— Muriel Rukeyser


Rajasthan, India


Flechtingen, Germany


Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes Interview, Beverly Hills Hotel, USA

We are lonesome animals.
We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome.

One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say and to feel
‘Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way I feel it.’

You’re not as alone as you thought.
— John Steinbeck

BRAZIL-10014NF8, Lavazza, Brazil, 08/2010



I will tell you something about stories, (he said)
They aren’t just entertainment.
Don’t be fooled.
They are all we have, you see,
All we have to fight off
illness and death
– Leslie Marmon Silko


Pristina, Kosovo


Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

To be a person is to have a story to tell.
—Isak Dinesen


Vrindavan, India

Story behind the picture

The woman in the picture has been a widow for seventy years.
Her husband died when she was 14 years old.
Living in a community of widows since that time, she has made a living as one commissioned to pray for others.
After I made her picture, she invited me to join her for tea.
She spends her days in prayer for people who give her a few rupees.
She lives joyfully, and shows no sign of sorrow, self-pity, or resentment.


3-5 Swallow Street
London W1B 4DE
September 7 –October 15, 2011

2525 Michigan Ave #A1
Santa Monica, CA 90404
September 10 – December 1, 2011
735 Main Avenue
Durango, CO
September 9 – December 14, 2011
Houston, TX
September 17 – October 15, 2011
Museum of Contemporary Art
Rome, Italy
December 1, 2011 – April 29, 2012


38 Responses to “Everybody Has a Story”

  1. […] Got this gem from Natasha Badhwar, who is a gifted story teller herself, on Twitter (follow her now). The quotes below are from Steve McCurry‘s (of the iconic Afghan Girl photo fame) wonderful blog. […]

  2. Meehaj Thakkar Says:


  3. The facts in a photo are as real as we make them, and wish them to be true or not. This photographer makes wonderful images, the full book of emotions including funny, reassuring, and mostly above that line that Agnes Martin talked about

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Superb pics…I am big fan of yours.

  5. Your photos are as evocative as many stories I can think of. What a privileged life you lead to have viewed and so wonderfully captured so much! Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed and thank you WP for drawing our attention to this site!

  6. Great pictures all with there own stories..

  7. What you’re saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what you’re trying to say. I’m sure you’ll reach so many people with what you’ve got to say.

  8. […] by the latest Steve McCurry post. He’s the man. Period. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  9. wonderful stories Steve!! So many of them!

  10. I’ve been following your work since I was a little girl in the 80’s. Thank you for sharing your archives with us.

  11. Well, as always it is a joy to catch up with your archive photography journal. Thank you for including a scene from Texas. And I had to laugh when I scrolled down to the image of Jimmy Swaggart. There is a story behind the inclusion of that one! smile

    Best always,

  12. Again another impressive series.

    Steve, I have seen you exhibition in Frankfurt in the English Theatre…really impressive.

  13. true.. life seems to b incomplete without stories !!!

  14. […] https://stevemccurry.wordpress.com/2011/09/22/everybody-has-a-story/ Six billion of us walking the planet, six billion smaller worlds on the bigger one. Six billion stories, every one an epic, full of tragedy and triumph, good and evil, despair and hope. – Dean Koontz […]

  15. […] is a beautiful gallery of photographs from around the […]

  16. Awesome and poignant documentary photography as always, I’m a huge fan of your work. The shot of Marilyn Monroe walking along with Superman in Hollywood made me giggle in contrast with your wizened faces. Now that’s a story !!! ;0)

  17. Love your photos and presentation

  18. Olga Celle Says:

    Moving, so humane. We need more people thinking of humans like you do. Thanks Mr. McCurry.

  19. Another superb blog. I particularly like the photo from Rajasthan.

  20. Nice Pictures

  21. Kaushal Kumar Singh Says:

    Always true. I have seen the same picture of the widow from Vrindavan India but her story first time here.

  22. short stories last forever..

  23. Steve, every post at your blog i want to print and stick to my wall.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    So amazing, stories to tell, I’ll be looking for them when I photograph, thank you

  25. Thank you for the story of the widow. Her purpose is surely magnificent.

  26. you did it again, Sir!

  27. speechless as always!

  28. Excelente secuencia, se ve la pasion por lo sencillo, con un resultado fantastico!

  29. Anonymous Says:

    How true! We all have our stories to tell! Pictures could say a lot and now, ‘ am so excited to write mine! Thanks Mr. Mc Curry for your blog that is simply but greatly touching!

  30. Fantasticas, que ideia maravilhosa, todos nós temos historias para contar, mesmo que nao falemos nada, basta um gesto um olhar.
    abraços do Brazil

  31. Marietta Yandoc Says:

    Mr McCurry you have turned the obvious to be true!

  32. breath-taking and moving..I feel a connection with this post..

  33. Great Concept Sir, love the post. Simply Brilliant!


  34. Mr Mc Curry I a big fan Congrats.

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