Mary Ellen Mark
[Photographer, b. 1940, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, d. 2015, New York.]

 I don’t think you can develop or learn a “way of seeing” or a “point of view.” A “way of seeing” is who you are, how you think and how you create images. It is something that is inside of you. It’s how you look at the world. 
 In a portrait, you always leave part of yourself behind. 
 If you are interested in photography because you love it and are obsessed with it, you must be self-motivated, a perfectionist, and relentless. 
 I just think it’s important to be direct and honest with people about why you’re photographing them and what you’re doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul, and I think you have to be clear about that. 
 I go into every story thinking I’m going to fail. I think about that all the time—I think it’s going to be terrible. Every story is like the first I’ve ever done. 
 It’s not when you press the shutter, but why you press the shutter. 
 A great photograph needs no explanation; it functions by suggestion. There is no need to be explicit. 
 By making a frame you’re being selective, then you edit the pictures you want published and you’re being selective again. You develop a point of view that you want to express. You try to go into a situation with an open mind, but then you form an opinion, and you express it in your photographs. 
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