Berenice Abbott
[Photographer, writer, teacher, b. 1898, Springfield, Ohio, d. 1991, Monson, Maine.]

 There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own. 

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

 …talking about pictures as though you could tell anybody how to take good ones is nuts. Pictures are given, not taken. 

Ben Shahn
[Photographer and artist, b. 1898, Kovno, Russia (now Kaunas, Lithuania), d. 1969, New York.]

 I said, “Walker [Evans], remember your promise to show me how to photograph?” He says, “Well, it’s very easy, Ben. F9 on the sunny side of the street, F4.5 on the shady side of the street. For a twentieth of a second hold your camera steady,” and that was all. This was the only lesson I ever had. 

Sophie Calle
[Artist, b. 1953, Paris, lives in Paris and New York.]

 I met a photographer who agreed to give me a few lessons; in exchange, I had to pose naked for him. 

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

 I hate to look at the future and see myself as a dried up teacher of photography. (On being forced to earn money teaching at Columbia and the Brooklyn Museum, 1908) 

Martin Parr
[Photographer, b. 1952, Epson, Surrey, England, lives in Bristol and London, England.]

 I went for an interview at colleges in Manchester and Derby and I was enormously impressed by people doing these creative photography courses. I was impressed by people smoking in the darkroom—the idea of having your own darkroom and being able to smoke in it, I just thought was absolutely fantastic. 

Duane Michals
[Photographer, b. 1932, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 Not having gone to photography school, I never learned the rules. 

Thomas Ruff
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]

 I received my training at an art academy, so what I produce is art. That’s what is artistic about my photographs. 
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