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. 

Phil Stern
[Photographer, b. 1919, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 2014, Los Angeles.]

 What is a photographer? Some dumb-fucking, uneducated, illiterate schmuck. 

Abbas (Abbas Attar)
[Photographer, b. 1944, Iran, lives in Paris.]

 I know that some photographers have big egos, but photography is simple. In the morning, you put a roll of film in your camera—and today you don’t even have to do this with digital. You take to the streets, you come back home, edit your photographs and show them. It’s that simple. 

Janet Malcolm
[Writer, b. 1934, Prague, Czechoslovakia, lives in New York.]

 Are pictures there for anyone to “take”? Or are they made by the photographer? 

Bruce Davidson
[Photographer, b. 1933, Oak Park, Illinois, lives in New York.]

 In those days [1948], to be a photographer was actually to be a nonentity. My brother went to college, grad school, a PhD. I had this little camera. 

Ishiuchi Miyako
[Photographer, b. 1947, Gunma Prefecture, Japan, lives in Tokyo.]

 It’s very difficult for me to take pictures from the perspective of the viewer. I can only be the one providing the photographs. 

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 The job of the photographer, in my view, is not to catalogue indisputable fact but to try to be coherent about intuition and hope. 

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

 We are all photographers suddenly, or surrounded by them. 
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