Tête-à-tête: The art of conversation


The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.
― William Hazlitt, Selected Essays, 1778-1830


Good communication is as stimulating as
black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.

― Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea




A single conversation can completely change the trajectory of our lives.
 – Kaye Earle

Los Angeles, California, USA

Conversation should be like juggling;
up go the balls and plates, up and over, in and out,

good solid objects that glitter in the footlights and
fall with a bang if you miss them.

― Evelyn Waugh

Angkor, Cambodia



Lettuce is like conversation.   It must be fresh and crisp, so sparkling
that you scarcely notice the bitter in it.
– Charles Dudley Warner

Karelia, Russia



Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

My idea of good company is the company of clever,
well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation;
that is what I call good company.
– Jane Austen


Nouakchott, Mauritania

Love without conversation is impossible.
– Mortimer Adler





A single conversation across the table with a wise man is
better than ten years mere study of books.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


The most fruitful and natural exercise
for our minds is, in my opinion, conversation.

― Michel de Montaigne, The Essays: A Selection



Peshawar, Pakistan

Conversation. What is it? A Mystery!
It’s the art of never seeming bored, of touching everything with interest, of
pleasing with trifles, of being fascinating with nothing at all.

― Guy de Maupassant


Paris, France

Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility,
witty without affectation, free without indecency,
learned without conceitedness,
novel without falsehood. 
– William Shakespeare



About Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today’s finest image-makers, has won many of photography’s top awards.
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45 Responses to Tête-à-tête: The art of conversation

  1. Constance English says:

    Thank you for the evocative photos, and the words of wisdom that helps us to have a conversation with those pictured.

  2. mekyam says:

    i find these collection of tête-à-têtes so poignant because nowadays most people you see when you’re out are talking to themselves. or rather, talking to their smartphones – even when they are in company.

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  4. Patricia Jiménez D says:

    Maravillosas tus fotos, abrazos desde Colombia

  5. I hope to record and photograph the moment you did it very well, Steve, I’m going to document my time in line with my own style.

  6. Francesco says:

    Grazie Steve !! La tua capacità di saper trasmettere mille sensazioni con una sola foto è unica e rara !!
    Sei un grande !!
    Thanks Steve !! Your ability to convey a thousand sensations with only one photo is unique and rare !!
    You are a great !!

  7. cupcakecache says:

    So simple and yet so true. Thank you.

  8. billr88 says:

    Thank you for sharing your great photos. To me, it is not important to hear the conversations. The beauty is in seeing the conversants, and you have captured that perfectly.

    • habner1 says:

      Exactly what I was thinking! But to be honest I do wish I could have overheard the two ladies in Turkey that are sitting down together on the bench with a fantastic wall and struggling tree behind them.

  9. Magnificent photos. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent. I would not want to overhear the conversations, but you make it a pleasure to oversee them!

  10. Imelda says:

    What a gorgeous collection of photos.

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  12. Sr. Dorcee says:

    Reblogged this on Wonder and Beauty and commented:
    Another treasure from Steve McCurry . . .

  13. Michel says:

    Magnifique série ! Merci pour ces images.

  14. haselbauer says:

    interesting theme, thank you

  15. Anonymous says:

    beautiful series.

  16. Sue says:

    Great set of images, each with a story to tell…some wonderful captured moments

  17. Ahilan says:

    Beautiful collection of stories !!

  18. MacLindhe says:

    I can drown in each and everyone of these photos, trying to find out what they are talking about. It’s like a perfect novel, stimulating my fantasy.

  19. Rosemary Lintott says:

    Thank you for posting these photographs. They give instant and poignant insight into so many other lives.

  20. Thank you for sharing Steve. This was a great experience. Nice work and project 🙂

  21. Wonderful positive, poignant and story telling

  22. Jane Lurie says:

    Perfect moments of human connection. Fabulous collection, Steve.

  23. Abraham Panavelil says:

    Wow! Awesome pictures

  24. Sharon says:

    I can just imagine what each conversation was. You’ve captured the moments perfectly. Intriguingly. Well done!

  25. Fabulous images that tell fabulous stories! Thanks for sharing and showing us how to capture powerful images.

  26. pmdello says:

    The nurses from France with the buggies: exquisite. 👏

  27. Dr. Rex says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Steve McCurry’s photography … always amazing! ❤️

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  29. patricia says:

    I always try to look at a photograph first being aware of how it makes me feel and secondly the composition. Kudos on every level – of course. Thank you.

  30. eduardolibby says:

    I’ve never met you but you, like all good portraitists, must be a great conversador… ; )

  31. imatnick says:

    Wonderful photos that tell a story.

  32. Donna says:

    As usual, you share such beautiful photos/quotes that always make me feel better about the World and the condition that it is. Thank you. You lifted my heart.

  33. chris cox says:

    As always, lovely. Thank you for gathering these from your collection.

  34. Jane Tearle says:

    Love this set of images with their words of wisdom..as always!

  35. Mansukh Shah says:

    Beautifully captured photos of people so engrossed in deep conversations . Thank you Stevebhai.

    ”Conversation is an exercise of the mind; gossip is merely an exercise of the tongue.”

  36. You always touch my hart and inspire me.
    With your photo’s and with your qoutes.
    They make each other stronger. TOP.

  37. paula graham says:

    Marvellous , each and everyone of these series.

  38. Another eye opening and beautiful series.

  39. ksbeth says:

    so true and beautiful post, steve

  40. Wonderfully poignant and expressive photos and enjoyed the quotes too – bravo!

  41. expatgal10 says:

    Fantastic as usual. Love the topic and all the quotes with each photo.

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