Chuck Close
[Artist, b. 1940, Monroe, Washington, lives in New York.]

 The minute I started working with Polaroid I realized that as soon as I got a print that I thought I wanted to work from, there was no reason to make more versions. I began to take photographs that I had really no intention of making a painting from. So I reluctantly began to accept the fact that if I’m making photographs with no life other than that of a photograph, then golly, I must be a photographer. So I sort of backed into it. Thinking about myself as a photographer—it’s still something I’m not totally comfortable with. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 The photographer both loots and preserves, denounces and consecrates. 

Dorothea Lange
[Photographer, b. 1895, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1965, San Francisco.]

 I’ve never not been sure that I was a photographer any more than you would not be sure you were yourself. I was a photographer, or wanting to be a photographer, or beginning—but some phase of photographer I’ve always been. 

Helmut Newton
[Photographer, b. 1920, Berlin, d. 2004, Los Angeles.]

 Look, I’m not an intellectual—I just take pictures. 

Fred Ritchin
[Critic and writer, b. 1952, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 We are all photographers suddenly, or surrounded by them. 

Gregory Crewdson
[Photographer, b. 1962, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New Haven Connecticut.]

 All pictures are autobiographical, yet they’re telling us everything and nothing about the photographer. 

Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 ... we photographers are nothing but a pack of crooks, thieves and voyeurs. We are to be found everywhere we are not wanted; we betray secrets that were never entrusted to us; we spy shamelessly on things that are not our business; And end up the hoarders of a vast quantity of stolen goods. 

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. 
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