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

 To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there is no guarantee that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters. 

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. 

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

 What do you think I’m a professor of? The little finger? (On offers of honorary doctorates.) 

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. 

Lord Snowdon (Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones)
[Earl and photographer, b. 1930, London, England, d. 2017, London.]

 I think it’s all absolute nonsense how people talk about photography as being an art. It’s a very menial career that you do if you draw badly. Now they teach it at the Royal College of Art and get grand about it. It’s the only course there that I don’t understand. 

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. 

Eudora Welty
[Writer, b. 1909, Jackson, Mississippi, d. 2001, Jackson.]

 They taught me. The subjects taught me, and my response is what I photographed. 
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