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


By Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

To read more about Steve go to

46 replies on “Tête-à-tête: The art of conversation”

Always love your work Steve, your work pulls at my heartstrings no matter what you shoot. I am a very emotional photographer and I always try to search for a person’s emotions because that is what tells the story.

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

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.

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 !!

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.”

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