Josef Koudelka
[Photographer, b. 1938, Biskovice, Moravia, Czechoslovakia, lives in Paris.]

 When I first started to take photographs in Czechoslovakia, I met this old gentleman, this old photographer, who told me a few practical things. One of the things he said was, “Josef, a photographer works on the subject, but the subject works on the photographer.” 

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. 

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

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

Jeff Wall
[Photographer, b. 1946, Vancouver, Canada, lives in Vancouver.]

 ...electronic image traffic has become present in the relation between the photographer and the picture he or she sees in a viewfinder. 

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. 

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. 

Robert Mapplethorpe
[Photographer, b. 1946, Floral Park, Long Island, d. 1989, Boston, Massachusetts.]

 I would see a young kid walking down 42nd Street and then go into a magazine storefront, which were places I didn’t know anything about. I became obsessed with going into them and seeing what was inside those magazines. They were all sealed, which made them even sexier somehow, because you couldn’t get at them. A kid gets a certain kind of reaction, which of course when you’ve been exposed to everything you don’t get. I got that feeling in my stomach, it’s not a directly sexual one, it’s something more potent than that. I though if I could somehow bring that element into art, if I could somehow retain that feeling, I would be doing something that was uniquely my own. 

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. 
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