James Van Der Zee
[Photographer, b. 1886, Lenox, Massachusetts, d. 1983, Washington, D.C.]
Being an artist, I had an artist’s instinct. Why, you have an advantage over the average photographer. You can see the picture before its taken; then it’s up to you to get the camera to see it.
It’s a hard job to get the camera to see it like you see it. Sometimes you have it just the way you want it, and then you look in the camera and you don’t have the balance. The main thing is to get the camera to see it the way you see it.
I guess it was just a matter of not being satisfied with what the camera was doing. I wanted the camera to take what I thought should be there, too.
Somebody would come in and say, “I never take a good picture.” I’d say, “Why not? You’ve got two eyes, a nose, and a mouth like everybody else.”