Robert Doisneau
[Photographer, b. 1912, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, France, d. 1994, Montrouge, France.]

 The photographer must be absorbent—like a blotter, allow himself to be permeated by the poetic moment... His technique should be like an animal function... he should act automatically. 

James Agee
[Writer, b. 1909, Knoxville, Tennessee, d. 1955, New York.]

 JAMES AGEE: a spy, traveling as a journalist.
WALKER EVANS: a counter-spy, traveling as a photographer.
(Self-descriptions in the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men)  

Henry Miller
[Writer, b. 1890, New York, d. 1980, Pacific Palisades, California.]

 [The photographer] is like a secretive insect who awaits for the appearance of some unknown epidemic before commencing his ravages. He is stubborn and elusive. He does the banal thing in order to hide his monstrous eccentricities. He has the eye of a ghoul, the indifference of a leper, the calm of a Buddha. He is insatiable. He is a monster—the most amiable, the most courteous, the most raffiné—but a monster. (On Brassaï, who he lastingly dubbed “the eye of Paris.”) 

Brian Duffy
[Photographer, b. 1933, London, d. 2010, London.]

 One of the great problems with photography is that any twat you give a camera to can take a photograph. What that does to the photographer is immediately create an inferiority complex within him because anyone can do it, which of course they can. 

Ruth Orkin
[Photographer, b. 1921, Boston, Massachusetts, d. 1985, New York.]

 Being a photographer is making people look at what I want them to look at. 

Alec Soth
[Photographer, b. 1969, Minneapolis, Minnesota, lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.]

 Try everything. Photojournalism, fashion, portraiture, nudes, whatever. You won’t know what kind of photographer you are until you try it. 

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. 

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

 It is not sociologists who provide insights but photographers of our sort who are observers at the very center of their times. I have always felt strongly that this was the photographer’s true vocation. 
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