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

 Walker [Evans] setting up the terrible structure of the tripod crested by the black square heavy head, dangerous as that of a hunchback, of the camera; stooping beneath cloak and cloud of wicked cloth, and twisting buttons; a witchcraft preparing, colder than keenest ice, and incalculably cruel. (On Walker Evans photographing three tenant farmer families in Hale County, Alabama, 1936) 

Georgia O'Keeffe
[Artist, b. 1887, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, d. 1986, Santa Fe, New Mexico.]

 If they had known what a close relationship he would have needed to photograph [them] the way he photographed me—I think they wouldn’t have been interested. (On men who wanted Alfred Stieglitz to photograph their wives or girlfriends, 1922.) 

Vincent Van Gogh
[Artist, b. 1853, Zundert, Netherlands, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, France.]

 I always think photographs abominable, and I don’t like to have them around, particularly not those of persons I know and love... photographic portraits wither much sooner than we ourselves do, whereas the painted portrait is a thing which is felt, done with love or respect for the human being that is portrayed. 

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

 A portrait isn’t a fact but an opinion—an occasion rather than a truth. 

Giséle Freund
[Photographer, b. 1908, Berlin, Germany, d. 2000, Paris, France.]

 When you do not like human beings, you cannot make good portraits. 

Thomas Ruff
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]

 The people have to know what my portraits are like in order to behave in such a way that the result is one of my portraits. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 I’ve got incredible power in my closet. Not power to do harm—just the feeling that I’ve captured people who have since died and people who will never look that way again. The camera is cruel, so I try to be as good as I can to make things even. 

Bill Brandt
[Photographer, b. 1904, Hamburg, Germany, d. 1983, London.]

 Andre Breton once said that a portrait should not only be an image but an oracle one questions, and that the photographer’s aim should be a profound likeness, which physically and morally predicts the subject’s entire future. 
quotes 1-8 of 328
page 1 of 41 next page last page
display quotes