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Steve McCurry shows that even he shoots some portraits on a camera phone

Steve McCurry
Steve McCurry shooting on location at New York's Grand Central Terminal with the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro (Image credit: Xiaomi)

As if we needed proof that camera phones are now capable of shooting professional images, legendary Magnum photographer Steve McCurry has just released a series of three panoramic portraits shot on a smartphone. The photographer, best known for his iconic portrait Afghan Girl, shot the images with the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro – as part of a series commissioned by the Chinese phone manufacturer on photographers shooting pictures of their own personal heroes. 

In the behind-the-scenes video below, McCurry talks us through this three choices for the #MyUnsungHeroes project. First up is 98-year-old fellow photographer Tony Vaccaro who is best known for his powerful pictures of World War II – but who hit the news this year as a Covid-19 survivor. In the picture that McCurry takes, Vaccaro is seen holding portraits that he took of Pablo Picasso and Sophia Loren during his post-war career as a fashion & magazine photographer.

Video: Steve McCurry takes you behind the scenes of the portraits he shot for the Xiaomi #MyUnsungHeroes portrait project

"One of the things I admire about Tony is that he photographed in virtually impossible circumstances during the war; he even sometimes developed his film in his helmet at night", explains McCurry.

“Heroines and heroes, from all walks of life, are the backbone in this difficult moment when we all need to toughen up and carry on. I would really want to make a memory to make these faces remembered."

The other two heroes he chose were closer to home –his four-year-old daughter Lucia, and his Studio & Exhibitions Manager Camille Clech. 

Steve McCurry's Unsung Heroes

“This year is also a good time to express our huge respect and appreciation to those who have been supporting us throughout the hardships', explains says Shou Zi Chew, President of International, Xiaomi. "This is why we chose to work with Steve McCurry, a world renowned photographer, to capture portrait images of the unsung heroes in his life using our stellar flagship Mi 10T Pro. This device is created to power your creativity, with its top range 108MP camera, we believe this would bring Steve’s works to another level,” 

The full series of portraits from the #MyUnsungHeroes project can be seen on the Xiaomi Instagram page.

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 


His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.


He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.