George Ancona (born December 19, 1929) is an American photo essayist and creator of photo-illustrated children's picture books. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the son of immigrants from Mexico. He painted signs for Coney Island at "12 or 13" years and as a teenager "knew I would become an artist". As of 2008 he lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 2002, Ancona received the Children's Book Guild (Washington, DC) Nonfiction Award.
Do you have a story in mind before you take the pictures, or do you take the pictures and then write the story?
Before I start taking pictures I create a sequence that will fit in a 48-page book. Then I start taking pictures and assign the pictures to the squares I drew. Once I have pictures telling the story I start writing in sequence, which is dictated by the pictures. I let the pictures tell me the story. I find that I do better if I know nothing about a subject before I start the book. The discovery of a subject is what makes it fun and that makes the book fun. I like to end up with a life experience that will enrich my life.
How many pictures do you have to take to make a book?Usually for every picture, I use one roll of film. There are usually 50 pictures in a book, so there are 50 rolls and each roll is 36 exposures. So, for a book with 50 pictures I will take 1,800 photographs.
- "George Ancona Interview Transcript". Scholastic Teachers (scholastic.com/teachers). Retrieved 2014-10-15. "The author was interviewed by Scholastic students." No date.
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- "Nonfiction Award – Previous Winners". Children's Book Guild of Washington, DC (childrensbookguild.org). Retrieved 2014-10-15.
- Video interview with George Ancona
- George Ancona at Library of Congress Authorities, with 110 catalog records