Alfred Stieglitz
[Photographer and curator, b. 1864, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1946, New York.]

 When we go through an exhibition of American photographs, we are struck by the conventionality of the subjects chosen; we see the same types of country roads, of wood interiors, the everlasting waterfall, village scenes; we see the same groups at doorsteps and on piazzas; the same unfortunate attempts at illustrating popular poetry; the same etc., etc., ad infinitum. (1892) 

Minor White
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1908, Minneapolis, Minnesota, d. 1976, Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 One should photograph objects, not only for what they are but for what else they are. 

Ray Metzker
[Photographer, b. 1931, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, d. 2014, Philadelphia.]

 I don’t need exotic places to be stimulated. Out of familiarity comes nuance. The more you revisit a subject the more you’re like to discover. 

Roy DeCarava
[Photographer, b. 1919, New York, d. 2009, Brooklyn, New York.]

 There were no black images of dignity, no images of beautiful black people. There was this big hole. I tried to fill it. 

Andy Warhol
[Artist, b. 1928, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, d. 1987, New York.]

 During this period [1960s] I took thousands of Polaroids of genitals. Whenever somebody came up to the Factory, no matter how straight-looking he was, I’d ask him to take his pants off so I could photograph his cock and balls... Personally, I loved porno and I bought lots of it all the time—the really dirty, exciting stuff. All you had to do was figure out what turned you on, and then just buy the dirty magazines and movie prints that are right for you, the way you’d go for the right pills or right cans of food. 

Elizabeth McCausland
[Writer and critic, b. 1899, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1965, New York.]

 We have all had a surfeit of “pretty” pictures, of romantic views of hilltop, seaside, rolling fields, skyscrapers seen askew, picturesque bits of life torn out of their sordid context. It is life that is exciting and important, and life whole and unretouched. (1939) 

Harold Feinstein
[Photographer, b. 1931, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]

 On one hand you want to see your subject well. On the other hand, you want to be caught off guard to retain the spontaneity. If you know your subject too well you stop seeing it. 

Dorothea Lange
[Photographer, b. 1895, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1965, San Francisco.]

 Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion... the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate. 
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