Blaise Cendrars
[Writer and poet, b. 1887, Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, d. 1961, Paris.]

 Photogenic is a stupid, nonsensical word, but it is also a great mystery. 

Charis Wilson
[Model, b. 1914, San Francisco, d. 2009, Santa Cruz, California.]

 Altogether it was a magical place. The silence and emptiness, the beauty of the wind-sculptured forms, the absence of any living things besides ourselves—all these combined to give me an exhilarating sense of freedom. As soon as the sun warmed things up, I took off my clothes and began diving down a steep slope... I was reminded of the childhood games of statues as I kept returning to the top of the bank to relaunch myself, and each slide down ended in a more abandoned position. (On posing nude at 22 in the Oceano dunes for her 50-year-old lover Edward Weston.) 

Bert Stern
[Photographer, b. 1929, Brooklyn, New York, d. 2013, New York.]

 I’d photographed a lot of women, and Marilyn was the best. She’d move into an idea, I’d see it, quickly lock it in, click it, and my strobes would go off like a lightning flash—PKCHEWW!!—and get it with a zillionth of a second. (On photographing the actress six weeks before her death.) 

Roland Barthes
[Writer, critic, and theorist, b. 1915, Cherbourg, d. 1980, Paris.]

 Once I feel myself observed by the lens, everything changes: I constitute myself in the process of “posing,” I instantaneously make another body for myself, I transform myself in advance into an image. 

James Nachtwey
[Photographer, b. 1948, Syracuse, New York, lives in New York.]

 Do we really need another picture of Paris Hilton or Naomi Campbell? 

Charis Wilson
[Model, b. 1914, San Francisco, d. 2009, Santa Cruz, California.]

 I knew I really didn’t look that good, and that Edward [Weston] had glorified me, but it was a very pleasant thing to be glorified and I couldn’t wait to go back for more. 

Richard Avedon
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 2004, San Antonio, Texas.]

 You can’t fuck and photograph at the same time. Taking fashion pictures of models is not a matter of arousal. It’s hard work. 

James Dean
[Actor, b. 1931, Marion, Indiana, d. 1955, Cholame, California.]

 Can’t you see? I’m Michelangelo’s David. (Explaining his pose to photographer Roy Schatt.) 
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