David LaChapelle
[Photographer, b. 1968, Connecticut, lives in New York.]

 I think we’re in a post-pornographic time and nothing seems shocking, but everything remains carnal no matter what you do. 
 People say photos don’t lie. Mine do. I make mine lie. 
 I was a fag and a misfit, and I was being laughed out of high school in Connecticut. So I dropped out. I had all F’s—except in my art classes, anyway. I came to stay with my friend who was a punk, shaved head, militant dyke who worked at CBGB, and discovered that everything that made me a freak in Connecticut, people embraced me for here [in New York]. 
 I’m part of what I consider the entertainment industry. For my photos to be entertaining, they have to be provocative and new. 
 Pictures are an escape. They should be bigger than life. In the same way, celebrities provide an escape from the mundane. They are photographed so we can worship them—so they are worthy of our worship. 
 If you want reality take the bus. 
 The key is to photograph your obsessions, whether that’s old people’s hands or skyscrapers. Think of a blank canvas, because that’s what you’ve got, and then think about what you want to see. Not anyone else. 
 The minute you point a camera at something, you are manipulating the image, because you are cropping out whatever is to the left and right of it. The minute you put a light on someone, you are manipulating the image. 
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