Philippe Halsman
[Photographer, b. 1906, Riga, Latvia, d. 1979, New York.]

 No photographer should be blamed when, instead of capturing reality, he tries to show things he has seen only in his imagination. Photography is the youngest art form. All attempts to enlarge its frontiers are important and should be encouraged. 
 I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and eventually I did it for money. 
 This fascination with the human face has never left me... Every face I see seems to hide and sometimes, fleetingly, to reveal the mystery of another human being... Capturing this revelation became the goal and passion of my life. 
 [Revealing character] can’t be done by pushing the person into position or arranging his head at a certain angle. It must be accomplished by provoking the victim, amusing him with jokes, lulling him with silence, or asking impertinent questions which his best friend would be afraid to voice. 
 Herein lies the main objective of portraiture and also its main difficulty. The photographer probes for the innermost. The lens sees only the surface... . 
 Every face I see seems to hide and sometimes, fleetingly, to reveal the mystery of another human being… Capturing this revelation became the goal and passion of my life. 
 I assure you that often, before approaching the person, my heart would beat, and I would have to fight down all my inhibitions in order to address this request to my subject. At every time when the subject agreed to jump, it was for me like a kind of victory. 
 When my sitters were self-conscious and tense, I asked them to jump. The mask fell. They became less inhibited, more relaxed—ie, more photogenic. 
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