[Photographer, b. 1904, Hamburg, Germany, d. 1983, London.]
Andre Breton once said that a portrait should not only be an image but an oracle one questions, and that the photographer’s aim should be a profound likeness, which physically and morally predicts the subject’s entire future.
Photographers should follow their own judgment, and not the fads and dictates of others. Photography is still a very new medium and everything is allowed and everything should be tried and dared... Photography has no rules. It is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it was achieved.
It is part of the photographer’s job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveler who enters a strange country.
The photographer must possess and preserve the receptive faculties of a child who looks at the world for the first time.
See the subject first. Do not try to force it to be a picture of this, that or the other thing. Stand apart from it. Then something will happen.
A photographer must be prepared to catch and hold onto those elements which give distinction to the subject or lend it atmosphere. They are often momentary, chance-sent things...
The good photographer will produce a competent picture every time whatever his subject. But only when his subject makes and immediate and direct appeal to his own interests will he produce a work of distinction.
When I have found a landscape which I want to photograph, I wait for the right season, the right weather, and the right time of day or night, to get the picture which I know to be there.