Bill Brandt
[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. 
 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... 
 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. 
 Most photographers would feel a certain embarrassment in admitting publicly that they carried within them a sense of wonder, yet without it they would not produce the work they do, whatever their particular field. It is the gift of seeing life around them clearly and vividly, as something that is exciting in its own right. 
 I am not very interested in extraordinary angles. They can be effective on certain occasions, but I do not feel the necessity for them in my own work. Indeed, I feel the simplest approach can often be most effective. A subject placed squarely in the centre of the frame, if attention is not distracted from it by fussy surroundings, has a simple dignity which makes it all the more impressive. 
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