James Welling
[Photographer, b. 1951, Hartford, Connecticut, lives in Los Angeles.]

 There is a narrative behind every image. I often imagine being able to see the photographer standing behind the camera, or perhaps crouching or running with it. 
 [Photography] underlines the photographer. That’s the Barthesian “this has been.” Well, “this has been” for the photographer as well. The photographer is the hidden placeholder in the Barthesian equation. 
 It’s not that I don’t care about content, but content is not the only way a photograph has meaning. 
 ... I began showing the black border of the negative as part of the image, something I’d never done before. I began to realize that the edge of the negative represents the shadow of the camera, the opaqueness of matter. It casts a shadow on the negative, so it’s a photogram as well. 
 A photograph records both the thing in front of the camera and the conditions of its making... A photograph is also a document of the state of mind of the photographer. And if you were to extend the idea of the set-up photograph beyond just physically setting up the picture, I would argue that the photographer wills the picture into being. 
 Even an ugly, abject photograph bears the recording of its making… my goal [is] to create dense objects, works in which many lines of thought converge.