Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 Nobody knows what art is, and it can’t be taught. It’s the mind and the talent of the eye of the individual who is operating the machine that produces what comes out of it. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 Photography is the only major art in which professional training and years of experience do not confer an insuperable advantage over the untrained and inexperienced—this for many reasons, among them the large role that chance (or luck) plays in the taking of pictures, and the bias toward the spontaneous, the rough, the imperfect. 

Harry Callahan
[Photographer, b. 1912, Detroit, Michigan, d. 1999, Atlanta, Georgia.]

 I really didn’t have much to teach. I didn’t even believe in it. I felt so strongly that everybody had to find their own way... In terms of art, the only real answer that I know of is to do it. If you don’t do it, you don’t know what might happen. 

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) 

Max Pam
[Photographer, b. 1949, Melbourne, Australia, lives in Perth, Australia.]

 [My photography teacher] gave me the Mexican Day Books of Edward Weston and just blew me away with this work. The fact that you could be this fabulous visual artist, with all this milieu of people like Diego Rivera and you could sleep with these gorgeous, amazing women, that you could live that life—that photography could deliver you that life. 

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

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

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. 

Victor Burgin
[Artist and writer, b. 1941, Sheffield, England, lives in London.]

 At the end of the second year I’d have students come into my office and they’d say, “Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t like the theory classes. I find them really interesting, but I can’t take a picture any more. Every time I raise the camera to my eye I think, is this politically OK? Is this... etc., etc.” The advice I always gave them was: Shoot first, ask questions later. 
quotes 1-8 of 76
page 1 of 10 next page last page
display quotes