Afghan Girl

"Afghan Girl", portrait of Sharbat Gula, on the cover of National Geographic, June 1985

Last weekend, we finally saw the Steve McCurry show at the Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography in Canton, OH. We saw his memorable portrait, “Afghan Girl”, which has been widely published and has been determined to be National Geographic’s most recognizable cover.

The image is familiar, those intense, haunting, multi-colored eyes. What deepened the impact of seeing this portrait, however, was it’s partner image of the same girl 17 years later, a woman aged beyond her years by an extremely difficult life, never knowing she was the subject of one of the most famous photographic portraits.

Here is a link to the whole story, and her newer portrait, the second time she had ever been photographed in her life: