Richard Avedon
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 2004, San Antonio, Texas.]

 Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me. My concern is, how would you say, well, the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own. 
 You can’t fuck and photograph at the same time. Taking fashion pictures of models is not a matter of arousal. It’s hard work. 
 A portrait isn’t a fact but an opinion—an occasion rather than a truth. 
 I’ve worked out a series of no’s. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all those no’s force me to the “yes.” I have a white background. I have the person I’m interested in and the thing that happens between us. 
 My photographs don’t go below the surface. They don’t go below anything. They’re readings of what’s on the surface. I have great faith in surfaces. A good one is full of clues. 
 A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he’s being photographed, and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he’s wearing or how he looks. 
 If each photograph steals a bit of the soul, isn’t it possible that I give up pieces of mine every time I take a picture? 
 A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. 
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