Harry Callahan
[Photographer, b. 1912, Detroit, Michigan, d. 1999, Atlanta, Georgia.]

 I sort of believe that a picture is like a prayer; you’re offering a prayer to get something, and in a sense it’s like a gift of God because you have practically no control—at least I don’t. 

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. 

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

 A photographer must be prepared to catch and hold onto those elements which give distinction to the subject or lend it atmosphere. They are often momentary, chance-sent things... 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 I work rather blindly. I have a theory that seems to work with me that some of the best things you ever do sort of come through you. You don’t know where you get the impetus and response to what’s before your eyes. 

Sally Mann
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]

 Like all photographers, I depend on serendipity, and when you’re photographing children there’s often an abundance of it. I would have an idea of what a photograph would look like and then something would happen—a dog might lumber in and become a critical element. I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance. 

Larry Sultan
[Photographer, b. 1946, Brooklyn, New York, d. 2009, Greenbrae, California.]

 I always thought of a great photograph as if some creature walked into my room; it’s like, how did you get here? What are you made of? And no matter how many pictures I make, I have never depleted that quality of mystery. 

Garry Winogrand
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, d. 1984, Tijuana, Mexico.]

 You see something happening and you bang away at it. Either you get what you saw or you get something else—and whichever is better you print. 

John Baldessari
[Artist, b. 1931, National City, California, lives in Venice, California.]

 Probably one of the worst things to happen to photography is that cameras have viewfinders. 
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