I picked up Esquire’s 75th Anniversary issue and was flipping through their list of the 75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century (here) and discovered that they couldn’t think of a single photographer to include in their list (WTFngF). Now, I know how these lists are made and it usually starts with the gathering of a massive list of names from all walks of life and I can see they did a very good job of balancing it out with artists, journalists, writers and such, but no photographers. Are you kidding? Time had a similar snub with their 2008 list of the Worlds 100 Most Influential People (here).

I seriously hope Nachtwey does something amazing tomorrow but surely he can’t be the only one. Can he?

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  1. “I can see they did a very good job of balancing it out with artists, journalists, writers and such, but no photographers. Are you kidding? ”

    Yeah, you’d think they’d realize that photographers often fall into both those categories (artist/journalist) and be able to pick at least ONE.

    But I’m not exactly surprised by it. I was always told that photography was what you could do when you couldn’t paint or draw. ;)

  2. I don’t have my copy of this issue in front of me but I seem to recall that on first review, there was a scarcity of photography (especially big photo spreads that they do so well) relative to the overall size of the issue (and relative to the amount of original photography featured in other issues throughout the year). The word editors run the show… or maybe they just blew their design budget on the E-ink cover… http://www.esquire.com/the-side/video/e-ink-cover-video

  3. ah, this century is pretty young …
    at least I located an Austrian on their roster *hehe

    cheers from the Alps, Reini

  4. So has Avedon been dead for too long, and been forgotten already?

  5. I thought the same thing yesterday while flipping through the articles, I did however enjoy the piece on Paul Thomas Anderson. I also found it to be very odd that in a 75th anniversary issue of a magazine well known for it ‘s photographic spreads they were very few to be found. I seem to recall an image of Scarjo and a lot of well lit wrinkled clothing. Either way I still give props on the E cover.

  6. Photographers: The Rodney Dangerfields of the art world, the journalism world, just about any world they work in. Doesn’t matter if you’re shooting for girlie rags or a newspaper or Nat freakin’ Geo, most folks perceive photographers as anything but influential or artistic or whatever. They might like the pictures but that’s mostly because it means they have to read less. Get used to it.

  7. Common,
    Have you EVER seen a “list” by any magazine done well with out any controversy or missing aspects?

    Lets face it, as a magazine you only do a “list” to draw controversy in the “hope” that it will draw an audience and “hopefully” subscribers. We all know that that just doesnt work… all it does is piss off the few people that A. care, and B. pay attention.

    This imop is another reason why traditional print is dead…… and good f#$king riddance. The only thing that is going to save print is quality and this “crap” (aka lists) are not it.

  8. Sorry, but compared to Obama, Borat, Al Gore, Petraeus, Steve Jobs, Oprah, Rupert f%&king Murdoch, and the others on the list, what photographer has had any comparable influence in the last 8 years?

  9. Just to clarify, that wasn’t meant to be a totally sarcastic question. Seriously, who should be on the list and why?

  10. Here’s PDN’s list of the 20 most influential shooters. (From their 20th Anniversary.) That anniversary was back in 2000 but the list of photographic luminaries probably hasn’t changed much. Of those on the list who are contemporary, who would you choose for Esquire’s list? Leibovitz? Nachtwey? Someone else?


  11. One thought is that no one cares about photographers. As far as photojournalists go, aren’t we always asking to be ignored? So why do we need any recognition? Ask any random person on the street who James Nachtwey is and I bet 9 out of 10 people won’t have a clue. Same goes for Eddie Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, you and me. Is it a bad thing? Who knows. But I feel more and more that photographers push towards a narrow elitism of victorian style wine tasting and cheese eating while competing to see who can sound more dramatic and poetic while babbling about nothing in particular, rather than connecting with society on a larger scale outside of photography to bring people into photography. But maybe we don’t need recognition. Maybe having a photograph recognized is good enough and isn’t that the ultimate goal? With billions of people in the world working to cure cancer, going to the moon, making billions of dollars, teaching, volunteering…blah blah blah, I think a photographer should pride themselves if their photographs get noticed and not their names. To us, it’s important. To some, worth dying for. To many in the world, we just take pictures. How hard can that be, right? It’s too bad.

  12. “How Can You Make A List Of Influential People And Not Include Photographers?”

    oh jeez, Esquire? Vanity Fair? The occasional hard-hitting investigation, or truly interesting interview (cake) is not nearly enough to make up for the umpteenth “LIST” or probing profile of Kiera Knightley (insert starlet of the month) or some soon-to-be-B-list actor (icing..,cheap lard-filled) that these magazines use as their stock in trade. I tend to agree with JimmyD that the whole sh*tpile has been on life-support for a while now. Good riddance. These lists are always a bit of a joke.


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    Christopher, all the photographers were busy making the guys above look good! :)

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