john curley. Get yours at


from San Francisco Magazine, May, 2008

... and in a March, 2009, piece, the nice people at the magazine said "Curley ... shoots haunting, late-night street scenes, as well as quirky images of offbeat events" and also pointed out the "stunning technical quality" of my work.



"We don`t make a photograph just with a camera; we bring to the act of photography all the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the music we have heard, the people we have loved."
-- Ansel Adams

"...but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once and it's too much; my heart fills up like a balloon and it's about to burst. And then I remember to relax. And stop trying to hold on to it. And then it flows through me, like rain, and I can't feel anything but gratitude for *every* single moment of my stupid little life...".
-- From "American Beauty"

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
- Pablo Picasso

"By any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain without being homeless. ... by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.
"Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. ...
"I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."
--- author J.K. Rowling, to the 2008 graduating class at Harvard


I just like making photographs.


Many of my photos are available at
John Curley Photography

You can see more photos and read about photographers and gear and trends and lots of other stuff on my blog:
Picture Perfect

I write about Burning Man on
The Burning Blog

I also have another Flickr site:
Jackie Cat Eye

(If you'd like to use something of mine on your blog, just drop me a line.)

Photos of john curley (107)

john curley's favorite photos from other Flickr members (1,975)

Following (750)

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Testimonials (16)

  • view profile

    jennifermckay says:

    "the most awesome person i've never met!"

    November 27th, 2007

  • view profile

    AnOceanBird says:

    "beautiful pics. words. heart. company.
    is there anyone that would argue with me?
    he is a walking, talking,

    and i like his dog. too."

    November 15th, 2007

  • view profile

    SeenyaRita says:

    "the first flickr fotographer i met in the flesh and he was fantastic. still is. besides his obvious talent he's a joy to be around. the only problem is....i can't keep up with him (even though he's older than about a month or two.)"

    June 27th, 2007

  • view profile

    vonvonvon says:

    "John has his index finger firmly planted on the pulse of San Francisco. When you see a thumb of a new picture of his, you gotta click it -- otherwise, you'll be wondering what you missed for the rest of the day. Great stuff!"

    February 2nd, 2007

  • view profile

    Karina Marie Diaz | Colette Photography says:

    "John as expected your photographs feel just like you.

    Wise, open, playful, honest, like a breath of fresh air with flair!!

    Thank you for being supportive and thoughtful. I hope to see you again soon;)


    December 13th, 2006

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    Laurie York says:

    "John Curley's photos, for me, are a voyage into the heart and soul of an extraordinarily gifted photographer and a caring human being. I see no separation between the two, which propels John's work into my list of favorite photographers. John's sensitivity to light and emotion fills his images with meaning beyond words, and in that quiet space, some of his remarkable photos have become etched into my own soul. Thank you my friend..."

    December 5th, 2006

  • view profile

    SpatialK says:

    "the only thing i like better than john curley's photos is john curley. he's got your back when the security guard catches you tresspassing in the abandoned warehouse. he knows a place where just three dollars can buy you a world full of fortune. and most importantly of all, he will never, ever fake your raisin."

    October 30th, 2006

  • view profile

    Creative Oculus says:

    "Hi John,

    Your photos are indescribable!!! I have not checked all of them yet, but the one's that I have seen and adored are absolutely superb that they are beyond words to describe.

    Thanks so much for sharing to everyone here.....................Caroline"

    June 19th, 2006

  • view profile

    lawatt says:

    "one of the most charming men I've ever met, I think -- and a damned good photographer, who just keeps getting better and better. looking forwad to our next dinner of tortellinis, red wine, and endless chat..."

    May 10th, 2006

  • view profile

    Sugar Booger says:

    "Nobody knows how to photograph knee socks better than John Curley. By far one of the most addictive photostreams on Flickr. His photography embodies his very nature: smart, charming and wickedly cool."

    December 11th, 2005

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    blimpa says:

    "Light of my life, fire of my loins.

    He was John. "Curley" in the morning. Standing 4'10 in one sock.

    ..if you know what i mean.

    wink. nudge."

    November 30th, 2005

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    steady observation says:

    "John is a master of his craft. I must say, there is a side of me that wishes that he did make a living with his photography. Then there would be even more to revel in.


    September 27th, 2005

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    SiYH says:

    "Everyone should take care not to ignore John's earlier photos - he has some great work.

    It is hard to make a consistant statement about most of Flickr's best, John Curley included - he has many great sets, landscape, documentary...

    Stop reading this and go to the stream before I kick myself. You'll thank me for that advice."

    April 4th, 2005

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    actually price says:

    "John's stream is a fantasy world...Its more than beautiful.

    Simple as that!"

    February 28th, 2005

  • view profile

    dark wealth says:

    "I believe John is one of those mystical merfolk I read about in mythology. I can see the longing, the wistful rattling of his ocean bones, as he captures images of his beloved Pacific.

    And his land and people shots aren't so shabby either!"

    January 25th, 2005

  • view profile

    drp says:

    "John seems to "succumb" to alot of "lures." And he takes a "ridiculous" amount of pictures. Well, we can "thank" him for that. His work truly "shines," and shows a wisdom only an "experienced" eye can "reflect."

    I look forward to where you're manic depression (of the shutter button) will take you."

    November 30th, 2004

November 2004
born in New York City, now living in Pacifica, California
i'm a photographer, writer, educator and editor