Everton, MacDuff

American (1947)


Macduff Everton grew up the son of an Episcopal missionary preacher on the West Coast. Though he was a good pastor, Everton’s father was driven from his church because of his strong advocacy for fair housing and civil rights. Perhaps such small-mindedness encouraged young Everton to escape; whatever the reason, he took the opportunity and ran right out of high school. Armed only with a hand-me-down camera, he headed to Europe for several years to see the sites and hone his photographic skills.

Upon returning to the states, he landed a job capturing images for an educational film company, who underwrote his travels through Mexico and Central America. When the company folded mid-way through the project, Everton had to hitchhike back to California from Guatemala, but he made the most of it, taking pictures along the way that formed the basis for his first exhibited and published project. Everton figured he was on to something and took jobs that might offer him an up-close look at intriguing subjects; he has been a cowboy, muleskinner, river raft guide and actor in a traveling circus that performed the lives of the saints. Most recently, he’s worked as a contributing editor for National Geographic Traveler and Islands magazine and completed a project chronicling Yucatan families over 20 years. His images regularly convey a fear of, reverence for and delight in the natural world.