John Loengard
[Photographer, editor, and critic, b. 1934, New York, lives in New York.]

 There really is no moment. The picture is the moment. 
 A Ming vase can be well-designed and well-made and is beautiful for that reason alone. I don’t think this can be true for photography. Unless there is something a little incomplete and a little strange, it will simply look like a copy of something pretty. We won’t take an interest in it. 
 Usually I think if there is something imperfect in a photograph it makes the picture more real. Photographs that are slick, smooth, and perfect seem less honest to me. 
 Working alone on stories, I began to feel the anonymity of motels on interstate highways reached by jet planes and rental cars. It was hard to have a good time, and the only way I could make the loneliness excusable was by taking pictures I thought were very good, even valuable. 
 You’ve only got a feeling that you have a picture when you’re shooting. All photographers have that feeling—but I think that was particularly so before the digital age. Now you can immediately see what you shot. 
 There are two kinds of photographs: mine and other people’s. I never think of what I might do myself when I look at someone else’s pictures... there is no subject in the world I have ever wanted to photograph. It’s the picture, not the object, that is important to me. 
 In my head I think, “There is a beautiful picture here and by God, short of murder, I’m going to get it. So shut up and hold still!” But what I say is: “You look wonderful. It’ll just take a minute. It’s marvelous. We’re doing something very special.” 
 The world doesn’t happen in moments. The camera points at the world and the shutter opens and closes and turns the three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional image and the image is the reality you’re dealing with. The picture and the moment are synonymous and can never be repeated. 
quotes 1-8 of 19
page 1 of 3 next page last page
display quotes