Tod Papageorge
[Photographer, b. 1940, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, lives in New Haven, Connecticut.]

 If your pictures are not good enough, you aren’t reading enough. 
 It’s unarguable to say that every one of us has been moved by the beauty of what I have called snapshots, but for photographers they are charms and proverbs, and like lightening or wild strawberries... 
 Cameras are like dogs, but dumb, and toward quarry, even more faithful. They point, they render, and defy the photographer who hopes. 
 By being fictions and, at the same moment, returning their subjects to us with a compelling fidelity, both photographs and poems work with the same surprise... both strike us as if they were simultaneously remembrances and revelations. 
 [The photograph] is fabricated out of the unfabricated dross of passing life (while paradoxically still trading on the indexical heft of that dross). 
 ...my argument against the set-up picture is that it leaves the matter of content to the imagination of the photographer, a faculty that, in my experience, is generally deficient compared to the mad swirling possibilities that our dear common world kicks up at us on a regular basis. 
 I believe that the (distorting) “mirror” which is photography holds an intrinsic, even elemental, relation to writing. 
 The picture was never to be fetishized. It was simply an instrument for learning more in relation to the question of what photography might be... It was simply being out in the world and making photographs to try to understand what this picture-making system was about. 
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