Photographs That Stir One's Soul

Photography has always enchanted me.  Long before I even understood why.

According to Eduard Steichen “The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself”. If this statement can be taken as certain, then these photographs fulfilled such a mission.

Eight-year-old Christian Golczynski accepts the flag for his father, Marine Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski, during a memorial service. Marc Golczynski was shot during his second tour in Iraq just a few weeks before returning back home.

Learn more about Christian and his life since this iconic photograph here.

The photograph that has become known as "Migrant Mother" is one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made of Florence Owens Thompson and her 7 children in 1936 in California. 

Read about Florence and the taking of this unforgettable image here.

A 1994 Pulitzer Prize wining photograph by journalistic photographer Kevin Carter during the Sudan famine.  The photo depicts a child struggling towards a United Nations food camp a mile away, as a vulture is waiting for the child to die.  No one knows what happened to the child.   Two years later, Kevin committed suicide, saying “I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, of killer executioners”.  Whether or not he did the wrong thing when photographing the struggling girl in Sudan, the truth is that Kevin Carter gave his whole life for the sake of information. He communicated reality in the most truthful way, hoping to make a change by increasing society’s awareness of the world’s injustice.

Read the story behind this controversial image here.

Mark David Chapman asked for John Lennon's autograph outside his Dakota residence.  Several hours later, he would meet him there again and kill him.

Victory Over Japan  (V-J) Day in Times Square, a photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, was published in Life in 1945 with the caption, In New York's Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers.

Read the story behind this infamous and most copied photograph here.

In November 1990 LIFE magazine published a photograph of a young man named David Kirby — his body wasted by AIDS, his gaze locked on something beyond this world — surrounded by anguished family members as he took his last breaths. The haunting image of Kirby on his death bed, taken by a journalism student named Therese Frare, quickly became the one photograph most powerfully identified with the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the reminder of the human connection.

Read the story behind David Kirby's life and passing here.