Henri Cartier-Bresson
[Photographer and painter, b. 1908, Chanteloup, France, d. 2004, Paris.]

 I’m not responsible for my photographs. Photography is not documentary, but intuition, a poetic experience. It’s drowning yourself, dissolving yourself and then sniff, sniff, sniff—being sensitive to coincidence. You can’t go looking for it; you can’t want it, or you won’t get it. First you must lose your self. Then it happens. 

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

 Reportage, or the spontaneous, fleeting aspect of the photographic image, appear simultaneously with the pictorial, tableau-like aspect at the origins of photography; its traces can be seen in the blurred elements of Daguerre’s first scenes. Reportage evolves in the pursuit of the blurred parts of the pictures. 

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

 A photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask. 

Joan Fontcuberta
[Photographer, b. 1955, Barcelona, lives in Barcelona.]

 I need there to be documentary photographers, because my work is meta-documentary; it is a commentary about the documentary use of photography. 

Allan Sekula
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1951, Erie, Pennsylvania, d. 2013, Los Angeles.]

 Documentary is thought to be art when it transcends its reference to the world, when the work can be regarded, first and foremost, as an act of self-expression on the part of the artist. 

Laurie Simmons
[Photographer, b. 1949, Long Island, New York, lives in New York.]

 People are much more willing nowadays to believe that pictures lie than [that] they can express any kind of truth. 

Larry Clark
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1943, Tulsa, Oklahoma, lives in New York.]

 ... I wanted to be a storyteller, tell a story. Which I hate to even admit to now, because I hate photojournalism so badly. 

Catherine Opie
[Photographer, b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio, lives in Los Angeles.]

 So much of my obsession with being a documentarian comes from this deep-seated sense of the loss of time, and of how things shift so quickly. 
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