Donna Ferrato
[Photographer, b. 1949, Waltham, Massachusetts, lives in New York.]

 Not for me the uninvolved wanderer with a camera—some invisible alien, coldly holding a tin box without a heart. My camera has feelings. 
 I explore with the credo that it is safe to go anywhere as long as the small, quiet, simply constructed box is nestled under my arm. 
 What makes me really happy is to get deep into the muck and juicy good stuff of people’s lives. 
 It’s very tough for documentary photographers these days. We’re the dinosaurs... Today, if you want to be a documentary photographer, you have to be prepared to put in your own money, your own time, and also be doing this for yourself. It’s a famine time for photographers out there. (2002) 
 For the twenty years I spent documenting domestic violence, I would always look for the lovers and the sexy times between people—men and women, women and women, men and men—to keep my equilibrium... love is the many splendored thing in our lives. 
 I certainly don’t want to rely on Corbis or Getty to really help photographers. They’re our enemies. Those people who want to buy up our archives and are buying out these agencies, these are the mortal enemies to photographers today. And I wish that photographers could find some other way to go instead of selling their heart and souls to those guys, because those guys are morally corrupt, they're bankrupt. 
 I really think there is a big difference between the way men and women photograph. And really, women have a lot more privilege and opportunities in getting access into people’s private lives, their intimate lives... I think it’s okay to recognize the fact that we are extraordinarily different from each other and how we go about photographing is very different and the kind of access that we get. 
 I think that a photograph of a face that’s been through a lot, a face with emotion, tells more than pages of words. The photograph makes people identify with and often feel something for the person because they can see that person is real. We never can quite tell if the story is real when it’s an essay without photographs. The photos give it a reality.