Alec Soth
[Photographer, b. 1969, Minneapolis, Minnesota, lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.]

 Photography is a language. To communicate, you need to learn the language. The history of photography is like the vocabulary and influence is like a dialect. One shouldn’t be embarrassed about having an accent. 

Joel-Peter Witkin
[Photographer, b. 1939, Brooklyn, New York, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.]

 My grandmother had only one leg and in the morning I would wake up and smell her gangrenous leg. Where most kids would wake up and smell coffee, I would wake up and smell grandmother’s rotting leg. 

Philippe Halsman
[Photographer, b. 1906, Riga, Latvia, d. 1979, New York.]

 I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and eventually I did it for money. 

Edward Weston
[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]

 By all means tell your Board that pubic hair has definitely been part of my development as an artist, tell them it has been the most important part, that I like it black, brown, red or golden, curly or straight, all sizes and shapes. (To Museum of Modern Art curator Beaumont Newhall, after being told the museum was reluctant to show nudes revealing pubic hair.) 

Gordon Parks
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1912, Fort Scott, Kansas, d. 2006, New York.]

 I was born to a black childhood of confusion and poverty. The memory of that beginning influences my work today, It is impossible now to photograph a hungry child without remembering the hunger of my old childhood. 

Martin Munkacsi
[Photographer, b. 1898, Kolozsvár, Hungary, (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania), d. 1963, New York.]

 My trick—is there one? Well, perhaps a bitter youth with many changes of occupation, with the necessity of trying everything from poetry to berry picking. These difficult early years probably constitute the sources of my modest photographic activity. 

Garry Winogrand
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, d. 1984, Tijuana, Mexico.]

 We know too much about how photographs look... It is natural to make those pictures we know. It’s boring, you don’t learn anything that way. You keep making what you know. 

Larry Clark
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1943, Tulsa, Oklahoma, lives in New York.]

 ...I didn’t know what other people were doing because I was working in a vacuum—just me. I wasn’t looking at art. I wasn’t not looking at anything. 
I made a point not to look at anything because I was afraid that I’d be influenced. 
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