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

 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. 
 If your pictures are not good enough, you aren’t reading enough. 
 ...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 photograph] is fabricated out of the unfabricated dross of passing life (while paradoxically still trading on the indexical heft of that dross). 
 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. 
 All the failed pictures you’ve ever made, all of the other photographs you’ve ever loved, even songs and lines from poems walk with you, insinuating themselves into your decisions about what you’ll make your photographs of, and how you’ll shape them as pictures. The process, if anything, is intuitive rather than the product of planning—although the fact that very few people have been able to produce this kind of work at a high level also suggests how difficult it is. In other words, intuitive may not be an adequate word for describing the stew of wildness, dogged work and hard thought that goes into producing this kind of [street] photography. 
quotes 1-8 of 11
page 1 of 2 next page last page
display quotes