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

 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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. 
 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 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. 
 A portrait isn’t a fact but an opinion—an occasion rather than a truth. 
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