Katy Grannan
[Photographer, b. 1969, Arlington, Virginia, lives in Berkeley, California.]

 I’ve always thought the family album is really a fiction. This was my first realization that photographs lie. 
 I don’t think the goal should ever be reinvention, or novelty for its own sake—it’s about communicating your particular way of seeing and perceiving. 
 This is the way photography can be cruel... in the sense that it describes everything, even the things we are not necessarily aware we’re revealing. 
 I think [indications of vulnerability are] why so many portraits work when they're difficult: we believe we’re presenting ourselves one way, but the camera always reveals something more vulnerable, despite our best efforts. 
 Despite all the pictures in the world, there’s so much that’s unseen—people, landscapes, entire regions, small gestures, overlooked details. 
 There’s always been something illicit about the way I work. I’m photographing people I don’t know, when nobody else is home—there’s a necessary degree of secrecy. 
 I’m not interested in illustration. I think that mystery is absolutely essential in both still photography and cinema. 
 I have a terror of things being nice and knowing what to expect. Making a photograph is a license to have experiences that I would not otherwise have. 
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