The Universal Language

INDIA-10841 (1) India

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.
– William Arthur Ward



A smile is the universal welcome.
– Max Eastman




A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
– Washington Irving

INDIA-10004NF  An Indian tailor caught in the monsoon floodwaters in
Porbandar, India

Look back, and smile on perils past.
– Sir Walter Scott


The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.  
– William Shakespeare, Othello

KASHMIR-10017 (1)Kashmir

00093_08. Mother and Daughter in Afghanistan, 2003, AFGHN-12678NFAfghanistan


Every smile makes you a day younger.
– Chinese Proverb


Laughter is day, and sobriety is night;
a smile is the twilight that hovers gently between both, more bewitching than either.
– Henry Ward Beecher

China, 1984, final book_iconicChina


EUROPE-10072, Berlin, Germany, 1988, GERMANY-10059Celebration in Berlin, Germany

Peace begins with a smile.
– Mother Teresa

AFGHN-13293, Afghanistan, 1984. A man holds a baby.Afghanistan


The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress,
and grows brave by reflection.
– Thomas Paine

_SM16823, Myanmar, Burma, 02/2011, BURMA-10289NFBurma

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but
sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
– Thich Nhat Hanh


150 Responses to “The Universal Language”

  1. Wonderful blog. Glad to see you have included Washington Irving!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    brillient work… u r amazing and iam going to learn from ur photos,,,,

  3. Reblogged this on Der rote Sonnenschirm and commented:
    Solche Bilder braucht die Welt. Heute und immer. Steve McCurry ist für mich ein Fotograf, der mit dem Herzen sieht. Einfach wunderschön!

  4. Love all your pics. Can we share with friends. No commercial use. Thank you

  5. This are pics absolutely amazing !

  6. What a genuine way of capturing the most important part of our lives.. smile… we so often forget to smile…Thanks for sharing. you are truly gifted.

  7. mirtha garcia Says:

    bellisimas fotos. una historia. la costumbre de un pueblo. antropologia visual. mis felicitaciones!!!

  8. Sister Simon Clare Says:

    Steve, thank you for posting this.We’d all adorn the world a little more nicely if we asked ourselves often, “Am I smiling?”
    The Buddha face lying among debris, is such a moving image!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Great pictures, thanks!

  10. […] Steve McCurry bloggte im Mai eine Serie von Portraits, die eine unmissverständliche Spache […]

  11. rajnish jhabak Says:

    ultimate pic

  12. An everlasting smile… ♥♥♥

  13. Anonymous Says:

    The smile despite their poverty.

  14. magic touch… colours in your soul… i can read words of love in every image…
    thanks for showing !

  15. very impressive pictures . thx for sharing those smiling faces

  16. This is real smiling stuff!:)

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Makes you just want to keep on smiling. Thank you for sharing with the world your amazing photos.

  18. Petra Collins Says:

    Absolutely Stunning!

  19. jeffrey Says:

    fabulous photography

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Beautiful photographs. Thank you.

  21. […] great photos on this, not sure if anyone has posted or seen this yet. The Universal Language | Steve McCurry's Blog ​› See More: The Universal Language – Steve McCurry's Kevin "Hard work […]

  22. Stunning images from a master photographer. I feel privileged to have seen exhibitions of Steve’s work in Dubrovnik and London, it was simply inspirational

  23. sorosh Says:


  24. Really a nice collection. congrats

  25. Monidipta SAha Says:

    Nothing have to say…..being a learning photographer, I just say that I am inspired too much……..

  26. Anonymous Says:

    Nothing have to say…..being a learning photographer, I just say that I am inspired too much……..

  27. […] Photojournalist Steve McCurry shares evocative images and quotes on what has to be the best photoblog ever. Check out his recent post on smiles, titled The Universal Language. […]

  28. An impressive and overwhelming collection of stunning portraits. Once again – THANK YOU – to show us your excellent photos.

  29. This is why Steve Mccurry is my favorite photographer.
    A true master who inspire me and give me the will to go forward in my passion.

    Thank you Steve!:)

  30. Those photos speak for themselves and that part of the world! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Silvio PADULA Says:

    Charming universal smile of the soul…

  32. Absolutely breathtaking. Thank you for what you do.

  33. Reblogged this on Life in literature blog and commented:
    Beautiful post – really cheered up my otherwise miserable day of revision.

  34. These pictures beautifully show what unites us – our humanity! Thank you!

  35. Smiles!😀
    Amazing portraits, as usually!😀

  36. Mathematica Says:

    Thankyou for this wonderful selection, connecting people across the world.

  37. […] May 7, 2013Steve Mc Curry […]

  38. Frederic Says:

    Simply amazing. That unique ability to capture the second of sparkle in people’s eyes, in such simple yet emotionally charged portraits is what gets me to come back to Steve’s work, over and over again.

  39. mohd1949 Says:

    Dear Sir,

    After several comments on your valued posts I have realized that my website was wrongly spelt, Even after correcting it as there is an error message.

    Kindy fix it to enable your readers to visit my blog as well

    Thanking you

    Mohamed Said

  40. Simply superb as usual

  41. Reblogged this on I BELIEVE and commented:
    From the blog of one of the most dynamic portrait photographer, Steve mc Curry.
    A smile, can make all the difference in the WORLD.

  42. You made me smile — barbara

  43. Mr. Steve, your pictures always successfully touching my heart

  44. Thank you Steve, you’re the most amazing portrait photographer the world has seen!
    You made my day a little better with this photos!

  45. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you, Steve McCurry.

  46. I am so happy! I can follow your work through this blog!!! thanks Steve McCurry!!

  47. Marilee Pittman Says:

    In the face of adversity, a smile is a diamond.

  48. nice photos steve

  49. Love this! and even the verb “love” is still an understatement

  50. silva Says:


  51. This: The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief.
    – William Shakespeare, Othello

    Is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing your soul.

  52. advocacine Says:

    Reblogged this on Advocacine's Blog.

  53. Anonymous Says:

    You are for me indeed a great photographer!

  54. […] India A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. – William Arthur Ward Tibet Afghanistan A smile is the universal welcome. – Max Eastman Burma Afghanistan India A kind heart is a fountai…  […]

  55. Great pictures Steve !

  56. honestly I’m absolutely speechless and awed by the distinctive similarities and diversions that creates Oneness !

  57. Reblogged this on Wonder and Beauty and commented:
    Hoping this makes you smile . . .

  58. Anonymous Says:

    Beautiful as usual

  59. […] I am absolutely in love with Steve McCurry’s soul. […]

  60. priyesh vyas Says:

    Great, Outstanding photographs steve !

  61. Richard Spurgeon Says:

    Beautiful photographs. Thank you.

  62. rajeev jain Says:

    your lovely pictures gives us chance to lough in our busy life.

  63. Reblogged this on no step too loose and commented:
    What Inspires me – Steve McCurry Photography

  64. Last pic is so beautiful!!!!

  65. mysweatyshirt Says:

    Reblogged this on MySweatyShirt and commented:
    I still remember a post from you that was one of my favorite last year – and still is my favorite! This is another one from you that I can say easily made it to my list. I love this!! Keep posting more like this.

  66. What a beautiful collection….There is nothing like a smile to lift ones spirit….Thank you for lifting mine with this fantastic collection. Your images -as always- speek volumes

  67. Saud A Faisal Says:

    Reblogged this on Around us and commented:
    Thanks Steve…

  68. mandayamr Says:

    Thanks…what womderful captures…thanks yet again for sharing

  69. hutchphotography2020 Says:

    Truly warm and well captured.

  70. Anonymous Says:


  71. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    Absoluyely brilliant. Thanks for all your trouble and patience..

  72. Reblogueó esto en X O R N A L E I R Ay comentado:
    La belleza de la sonrisa

  73. Haijo de Jong Says:

    Observing the laugh of another one is the same as laughing yourself.

  74. Simply stunning.

  75. Thank you for sharing.

  76. The whole world should see this.

  77. Beautiful, as always…

  78. Steve, you make the world smile. Thank you for sharing this wonderful set of photographs. Love it!

  79. Awesome photos. It is contagious. I can’t keep myself from smiling too. You’re great, Mr. Mccurry!

  80. Susan Megy Says:

    In this day and age of negative news media, your photos are a breath of fresh air. Quite simply, your images make my day. I am a huge fan of your work!

  81. God has made d world wit different language nd character

  82. Great examples of environmental portraits. The light on most of these couldn’t have been better if they were shot in a studio under controlled light.

    Steve, your images are photojournalism, art, and science of the highest order. Studying the light, composition, color, decisive moment, and depth of field of your images reveals a man who knows the craft.

  83. Paddy Says:

    Great work! But, Kashmir is part of India and it should not be shown separately, as many of your pictures do!
    I am a big fan of your work, Steve. But, facts are facts!

  84. Love the images. Fantastic and wonderful images.

  85. You make it larger-than-life Steve, because it’s so close to life!😀
    I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your work!:)

  86. […] The Universal Language | Steve McCurry’s Blog. […]

  87. I love you photographs and quotations and always am happy to see a new posting. They are so inspiring. Thanks so much for letting us see humanity through your beautiful work.

  88. you are a magician sir , your pictures narrates the stories ……. one cannot stop looking at them .

  89. Your photos are a joy and made even more so when accompanied by such inspirational words.

  90. Wonderful images, once again, Steve. I love the man with the sewing machine smiling in the midst of a flood.

  91. Outstanding collection of smiles Steve. Thanks for sharing the inspiration!

  92. Argentina Gutierrez Says:


  93. Amazing photos.
    Sometimes I feel as though I can never get enough of your images – they seem to capture the very soul of each person within the image.

    Your photography is so inspiring and continues to bring joy into the armchair traveller (that I am in retirement).

  94. Lovely thoughts, great words, amazing pictures !!!

    The humanity and spirit in your photos is inspiring and God knows we can do with plenty of both in this crazy world. Cheers.

  95. rodharvey Says:

    Makes you smile…so contagious!

  96. João D'Oliveira Says:

    De tudo o que tenho visto em fotografia, corro o risco de dizer que seu trabalho de longe é o mais significativo e o que mais traduz a beleza humana.
    Lindo. Parabéns!

  97. Anonymous Says:

    Wonderful !

  98. Edson Says:

    Simplesmente maravilhosas todas as imagens.

  99. Mina El Gabalawy Says:

    Awesome work! God bless!

    Mina El Gabalawy

  100. Anonymous Says:

    toccano l’anima!

  101. Meltem Ciftci Says:

    Excellent !!! Thanks for sharing and being such a good photographer.

  102. Enrique Says:

    Great! I follow your work, allways.

  103. Two doses of Steve McCurry in one week? How decadent!

    I enjoyed Bente’s post about the Nordic Light International Festival of Photography. It was great seeing you on the other end of the camera!

    As always, you’ve captured the essence of another emotion, one that is infectious and makes us smile as well.


  104. These are truly masterful images showing the possibilities of photography as a tool for humanitarian purposes.

  105. I love your Work Steve, i am one of your Big Fans !!

    Your Work is Pure and Simple !! You always show the beauty of the Souls and Light !!

  106. OUTSTANDING PORTRAITS! I am lost for words! You should put your photos in a book for people to purchase.


  107. marcia cerda Says:

    maravillosas imágenes.Algunas duras,fuertes ………pero predomina en optimismo.Es Ud. el poeta de las imágenes

  108. Your photos dance with my emotions

  109. Anonymous Says:

    wonderful photos..

  110. Perfect smile, great gold earrings, a gorgeous, red turban and the picture made at the exactly right millisecond. What a joy! Thank you!

  111. Alberto Pezzoni Says:

    Ottime sono tutte da ammirare

  112. Great photos, just love the colours in them……how do you get them so rich?

  113. Hats Off Sir with Full Respect!!!:)

  114. Teus Kon Says:

    Thank you for sharing, amazing work!

  115. Anonymous Says:

    Wonderful and uplifting!

  116. pablo ochoa Says:

    Amazings Pictures!!

  117. wonderful – thanks alot!:-)

  118. Meraviglioso mondo!!!

  119. papa_rod Says:

    Reblogged this on The Sicilian Frog and commented:
    One of the best photographers I have ever seen.

  120. Arkamitra Roy Says:

    Thank you for sharing

  121. Andrea Aldrigo Says:

    GREAT !

  122. Lexpaul Says:

    A smile hides the magic that moves the world… amazing photographs!!!!

  123. Mario Croatia Says:

    awesome, thousand words from this pictures

  124. Captivating as always Steve! The expressions are always overwhelming! Lovely work my friend!


  125. Anonymous Says:

    The world is a better place when we smile !!! Lovely collection

  126. bronsond Says:

    Charming photographs, Steve. Thanks for sharing.

  127. awesome photographs!!

  128. Smile is precious so are your photographs,Steve!

  129. Another great collection from you !

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