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. 

Jason Fulford
[Photographer, b. 1973, Atlanta, Georgia, lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania.]

 We all are influenced by things and copy things, but often where there is a certain level of copying, only the surface value ends up being reproduced and that becomes thinner and thinner. I feel like a lot of appropriation suffers from that. 

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. 

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. 

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

 [Eugene Smith] was always writing these diatribes about truth, and how he wanted to tell the truth, the truth, the truth. It was a real rebel position. It was kind of like a teenager’s position: why can’t things be like they should be? Why can’t I do what I want? I latched on to that philosophy. One day I snapped, hey, you know, I know a story that no one’s ever told, never seen, and I’ve lived it. It’s my own story and my friends’ story. 

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. 

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.) 

Roger Ballen
[Photographer, b. 1950, New York, lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.]

 The thing that influences me the most is my own pictures. 
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