Jerome Liebling
[Photographer, b. 1924, New York, d. 2011, Northampton, Massachusetts.]

 My sympathies have always been with the everyday people... the center of my photography. 

Jacob Riis
[Photographer and reformer, b. 1849, Denmark, d. 1914, Barre, Massachusetts.]

 It was not too much to say that our party carried terror wherever it went. The flashlight of those days was carried in cartridges fired from a revolver. The spectacle of half a dozen strange men invading a house in the midnight hour armed with big pistols which they shot off recklessly was hardly reassuring, however sugary our speech, and it was not to be wonder at if the tenants bolted through windows and down fire-escapes wherever we went. (1918) 

Robert Frank
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]

 I hate to be photographed. I can’t stand to be pinned in front of a camera. I do that to people. I don’t like it done to me. 

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

 The camera is a kind of passport that annihilates moral boundaries and social inhibitions, freeing the photographer from any responsibility toward the people photographed. To photograph people is to violate them, by seeing them as they never see themselves, by having knowledge of them they can never have; it turns people into objects that can be symbolically possessed. Just as the camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a sublimated murder—a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightening time. 

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)  

William J. T. Mitchell
[Writer, theorist, and architect, b. 1944, Melbourne, Australia, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 The “taking” of human subjects by a photographer (or a writer) is a concrete social encounter, often between a damaged, victimized, and powerless individual and a relatively privileged observer, often acting as the “eye of power,” the agent of some social, political, or journalistic institution. 

Martha Rosler
[Artist, b. 1943, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]

 Just going out on a foray to assemble a collection of street trophies about this or that running social sore can’t be effective—and never was. 

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? 
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