Bruce Davidson
[Photographer, b. 1933, Oak Park, Illinois, lives in New York.]

 I don’t always know why I’m photographing something. It’s my learning machine. 
 All my photographs are portraits—self-portraits, because you can’t photograph someone without reflecting/echoing, like a bat sending out a signal that comes back to you. You get not only a picture of who you’re photographing, but you get a picture of yourself at the same time. 
 Most of my photographs are compassionate, gentle, and personal. They tend to let the viewer see himself. They tend not to preach. And they tend not to pose as art. 
 I am a photographer in the way you might be a plumber. I like it that way. 
 I’ve had the privilege of being an outsider allowed on the inside, searching for beauty, meaning and myself. 
 Most young boys have a buddy. I had a camera. I was pretty much a loner, and I was doomed to failure because I wasn’t interested in anything other than taking pictures and developing them in my darkroom. 
 I felt that my mission in life was to make visible what appears to be invisible and I do that as someone who is blind and comes into a world and suddenly begins to see. 
 In those days [1948], to be a photographer was actually to be a nonentity. My brother went to college, grad school, a PhD. I had this little camera. 
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