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. 

Larry Sultan
[Photographer, b. 1946, Brooklyn, New York, d. 2009, Greenbrae, California.]

 ...when it comes down to making work that really sings, I don’t know if I can teach any of it. I don’t even know if I can do any of it half the time. It’s so much about failure, it’s so much about making pictures that are so utterly boring and overstated, you’re endlessly disappointed. And in that process you hopefully find something that draws you back and calls to you. 

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. 

Bill Jay
[Photographer, writer, and curator, b. 1940, Maidenhead, England, d. 2009, Samara, Costa Rica.]

 Formal education [in photography] has a lot to answer for. We have legitimized, sanitized, academized the medium until we are left with issues not substance, critical stances not action. We have encouraged the mimicking of already dead images, like 19th century painters who spent years copying Greek statuary. 

Edmund Hillary
[Mountaineer, b. 1919, Tuakau, New Zealand, d. 2008, Auckland, New Zealand.]

 As far as I knew, he [Tenzing Norgay] had never taken a photograph before—and the summit of Everest was hardly the place to show him how. (On why there is a photo of Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Mount Everest during the first successful climb, but not one of Hillary.) 

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

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

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. 

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. 
quotes 1-8 of 76
page 1 of 10 next page last page
display quotes