[Photographer, b. 1923, Paris, France, d. 1999, Paris.]
Millions of unnecessary photos are taken every day. People stand before the Pyramids and photograph them, when for three cents they could buy postcards which show them much better.
All my photographs are about meetings and about coups de foudre—love at first sight. To do that type of photography, one must wipe the canvas clean to prepare for chance encounters, be open and aware to such moments, otherwise it becomes a cliché—already seen and expected.
In some way, a photo is like a stolen kiss. In fact a kiss is always stolen, even if the woman is consenting. With a photograph it’s the same: always stolen, and still slightly consenting.
I think that the photos that we like were made when the photographer knew how to disappear. If there were a secret, certainly that would be it.
Sometimes I envy painters, it is wonderful to remain in front of a bouquet of flowers a whole morning, or even longer. A photographer is like a cloud, pushed all around, always dependent on the exterior world. That’s what I sometimes feel as a pain and an error.
There is a word we haven’t used yet: virginity... To make a photograph, the plate must be virgin, but your eye as well.
Nowadays, photographers start out with ideas, and their photos become the expression of an idea. To my way of thinking, a photo should not depend on ideas, should go beyond ideas.
Whether you want to or not, a photo reproduces an atmosphere.