A Pop Culture Photographer’s Epic Journey Through ‘The Seventies’

In his new book, Ira Resnick collects his images of the decade's iconic musicians, politicians, actors, and comedians.

“The 1970s were a pivotal time in my life,” Ira Resnick explains. “I was growing into adulthood during an era of constant flux. I had felt motivated personally, and somewhat politically, to seek clarity. Photography was how I could explore America and my place in it.” He began the decade by snapping a candid shot of Ali McGraw at an Earth Day event; he finished it with a stunning series featuring Pat Benatar. In between, he shot musicians (including Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, and Teddy Pendergrass), actors (like Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Bill Paxton), directors (Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone), comedians (Steve Martin, George Burns, and the 1978 cast of Saturday Night Live), and politicians (including Jimmy Carter, Jerry Brown, and Pat Moynihan) for Rolling Stone, People, and more.

Now, Resnick has opened up his personal archive – including many photographs never before published – to create The Seventies (out now from Abbeville Press), a combination of coffee table book, cultural history, and personal memoir. We’ve selected a few of our favorite images to share with you.

(Ira Resnick)