Berenice Abbott
[Photographer, writer, teacher, b. 1898, Springfield, Ohio, d. 1991, Monson, Maine.]

 I’m not a nice girl; I’m a photographer. (On being told by a Federal Art Project official, after she photographed the Bowery, that “a nice girl should not go into such neighborhoods”) 
 Let us first say what photography is not. A photograph is not a painting, a poem, a symphony, a dance. It is not just a pretty picture, not an exercise in contortionist techniques and sheer print quality. It is or should be a significant document, a penetrating statement, which can be described in a very simple term—selectivity. 
 What we need of equipment is this: let it possess as good a structure as the real-life content that surrounds us. We need more simplifications to free us for seeing. 
 I think the important decision for a photographer is to choose a subject that intensely interests him or her. 
 I have yet to see a fine photograph which is not a good document. 
 There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own. 
 [Composition is] as closely tied up with the body of the picture as veins and muscles are articulated with the human body. 
 I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else. Excitement about the subject is the voltage which pushes me over the mountain of drudgery necessary to produce the final photograph. 
quotes 1-8 of 22
page 1 of 3 next page last page
display quotes