Mary Ellen Mark
[Photographer, b. 1940, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, d. 2015, New York.]

 It’s important for me to be honest. The men, women, and children I photograph are straightforward with me. I have to respect them for what they are… What I look for is compassion, not pity. 

Lord Snowdon (Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones)
[Earl and photographer, b. 1930, London, England, d. 2017, London.]

 I think it is quite wrong to photograph, for example, Garbo, if she doesn’t want to be photographed. Now I would have loved to photograph her, but she obviously didn’t want to be photographed so I didn’t follow it up. Then somebody will photograph her walking down the street because she has to walk down the street, and I mind that sort of intrusion. I think this is horrible. 

Florence Thompson
[Migrant mother, b. 1904, Oklahoma, d. 1983, Scotts Valley, California.]

 That’s my picture hanging all over the world, but I can’t get a penny out of it. What good’s it doing me? (Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother at 75 years of age living in a trailer park near where the famous photograph was taken and surviving on $331.60 monthly social security.) 

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

 I am not ghoulish, am I? It wouldn’t anyway have been better to turn away, would it? 

Nobuyoshi Araki
[Photographer, b. 1940, Tokyo, lives in Tokyo.]

 Don’t you think that it is necessary to have a sense of brutality in photography? 

Joel-Peter Witkin
[Photographer, b. 1939, Brooklyn, New York, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.]

 I had met these people the night before at the S and M club, and had convinced them to be photographed. When all was ready, this one said “Mr. Witkin, I don’t want to show my thing. Is there any way we can make it be there without showing it?” I just shouted, “Get the fuck on the set”—so he acted submissive and kind of liked it. But the guy who was to put the blade into his cock started complaining: “I can’t reach this.” So I screamed, “You just have to.” I was kind of nervous. I’d been working all night to set everything up. 

Eddie Adams
[Photojournalist, b. 1933, New Kensington, Pennsylvania, d. 2004, New York.]

 I was getting money for showing one man killing another. Two lives were destroyed and I was getting paid for it. (On his 1968 photograph of the summary street corner execution of prisoner Nguyen Van Lem by South Vietnam's police chief, Lt. Col. Nguyen Ngoc Loan.) 

Eugene Richards
[Photographer, b. 1944, Dorchester, Massachusetts, lives in New York.]

 I’m often uncomfortable taking pictures, especially if people are grieving, or hurt, or hungry. At such times I have to remind myself that I’m a photographer and that this is my job. 
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