8 History’s Most Iconic Photos

These 10 award-winning photographs were carefully selected because of their importance in our history.

These iconic photos have helped shape our history and changed the world forever. They are some of the most powerful, thought-provoking that have influenced many people captured by some of the most famous photographers in history.

Woman Falling From Fire Escape | 1975

Photographer: Stanley Forman

While walking home, Forman captured a pair falling from a balcony swimming through the air. Forman later realized what he was witnessing was a woman plummeting to her death.

Starving Child and Vulture | 1993

Photographer: Kevin Carter

South African photojournalist Kevin Carter captured the horrors of famine in Sudan. His image of a dying child, with a vulture lurking over her, not only caused public outrage because of the horrific subject. 

Saigon Execution | 1968

Photographer: Eddie Adams

Award-winning photographer Eddie Adams captured a horrific scene of a casual execution of a prisoner that later become one of the iconic and most powerful photo of the Vietnam War.

Yousuf Karsh’s iconic portrait – Winston Churchill | 1941

Photographer: Yousuf Karsh

This image is one of Churchill’s most famous portraits. 

During the photoshoot, Churchill refused to remove his cigar. Then, Karsh, the photographer walked towards Churchill, removed the cigar from his mouth, and took his famous photograph with his angry look.

This influenced photographers and empowers them to take more honest, and even critical, portraits of political leaders.

Famine in Somalia | 1992

Photographer: James Natchwey

Supported on the ground by the Red Cross, Nachtwey captured the horrors of the famine. This, his most haunting image captures a woman in a wheelbarrow waiting to be taken to a feeding center.

Through this harrowing photo, the Red Cross received the biggest wave of public support since WWII and were able to save ONE and a half million people in Somalia.

Che Guevara, Guerillero Heroico | 1960

Photographer: Alberto Korda

This portrait of Che Guevara would become the iconic image of communist rebellion and revolution for people around the world. 

Even still today it is prevalent in the Cuban culture and around the world. Whether Che was, a hero or a villain, the portrait stands the test of time.

Robert Capa | The Falling Soldier | 1936

Photographer: Robert Capa

Capa’s photo of a Spanish militiaman being shot during the Spanish civil war encouraged more journalists around the world to begin immersing themselves in the trenches and army units as their importance in capturing and documenting the horrors of war was realized. 

The Iconic V-J Day in Times Square | 1945

Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt’s mission through this photograph was “to find and catch the storytelling moment.” In this post-WWII photograph in Times Square, he did just that.

His famous photograph of the soldier and dental nurse has become one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, signifying the joyous end to years of war.

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