Henri Cartier-Bresson
[Photographer and painter, b. 1908, Chanteloup, France, d. 2004, Paris.]

 [Photography as] a career?! It’s for a prime minister or an entrepreneur or a funeral director. That’s a career. 

Weegee (Usher Fellig)
[Photographer, b. 1899, Zlothew near Lemberg, Austrian Galicia (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), d. 1968, New York.]

 If I had a picture of two handcuffed criminals being booked, I would cut the picture in half and get five bucks for each. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 I will do no photography... that compromises my intelligence, my taste, my integrity. (On his dissatisfaction with working for LIFE Magazine, in a letter to Walker Evans, 1954) 

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 Part of the difficulty in trying to be both an artist and a businessperson is this: You make a picture because you have seen something beyond price; then you are to turn and assign to your record of it a cash value. If the selling is not necessarily a contradiction of the truth in the picture, it is so close to being a contradiction—and the truth is always in shades of gray—that you are worn down by the threat. 

Cindy Sherman
[Artist, b. 1954, Glen Ridge, New Jersey, lives in New York.]

 One reason I was interested in photography was to get away from the preciousness of the art object. 

Edward Curtis
[Photographer and ethnographer, b. 1868, Whitewater, Wisconsin, d. 1952, Los Angeles.]

 I devoted thirty-three years to gathering text material and pictures for [The North American Indian]. I did this as a contribution; without salary, direct or indirect financial returns. When I was done with the last volume, I did not possess enough money to buy a ham sandwich; yet the books will remain the outstanding story of the Indian. (1937) 

Richard Prince
[Artist, b. 1949, Panama Canal Zone, lives in New York.]

 Advertising images aren’t associated with an author. It’s as if their presence were complete—classical in fact. They are too good to be true. They look like they have no history to them—like they showed up all at once. They look like what art always wants to look like. 

Geoffrey Batchen
[Photohistorian, b. 1956, Australia, lives in Wellington, New Zealand.]

 Remember that image of Truman holding up the premature issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune declaring his defeat by Dewey? It is in the Corbis catalogue. Remember Malcolm X pointing out over his crowd of listeners, the airship Hindenberg exploding in the New Jersey sky, that naked Vietnamese child running towards us after being burned by napalm, Churchill flashing his V-for-victory sign, Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Patty Hearst posing with her gun in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army banner, LBJ being sworn into office aboard Air Force One beside a blood-splattered Jackie? Corbis offers to lease us electronic versions of them all; it offers to sell us, in other words, the ability to reproduce our memories of our own culture, and therefore of ourselves. 
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