William Mortensen
[Photographer and writer, b. 1897, Park City, Utah, d. 1965, Laguna Beach, California.]

 Thoughts and emotions cannot be photographed, despite the protestations of some mystically minded portraitists. Physical fact is ultimately the sole pictorial material. 

Orlan (Mireille Suzanne Francette Porte)
[Artist, b. 1947, St. Etienne, France, lives in Ivry-sur-Seine, France.]

 I can observe my own body cut open, without suffering!... I see myself all the way down to my entrails; a new mirror stage. I can see to the heart of my lover; his splendid design has nothing to do with sickly sentimentalities. 

Philippe Halsman
[Photographer, b. 1906, Riga, Latvia, d. 1979, New York.]

 In a jump the subject, in a sudden burst of energy, overcomes gravity. He cannot simultaneously control his expressions, his facial and his limb muscles. The mask falls. The real self becomes visible. One only has to snap it with the camera. 

Stanley Cavell
[Philosopher, b. 1926, Atlanta, Georgia, lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.]

 Under examination by the camera, a human body becomes for its inhabitant a field of betrayal more than a ground of communication, and the camera’s further power is manifested as it documents the individual’s self-conscious efforts to control the body each time it is conscious of the camera’s attention to it. 

Henry Wessel
[Photographer, b. 1942, Teaneck, New Jersey, lives in San Francisco.]

 I actually try and work before my mind is telling me what to do. 

Shomei Tomatsu
[Photographer, b. 1930, Nagoya, Japan, d. 2012, Okinawa, Japan.]

 Sometimes a photographer is a passenger, sometimes a person who stays in one place. What he watches changes constantly, but his watching never changes. He doesn’t examine like a doctor, defend like a lawyer, analyze like a scholar, support like a priest, make people laugh like a comedian, or intoxicate like a singer. He only watches. This is enough. No, this is all I can do. All a photographer can do is watch. Therefore, a photographer has to watch all the time. He must face the object and make his entire body an eye. A photographer is someone who wagers everything on seeing. 

Joyce Tenneson
[Photographer, b. 1945, Weston, Massachusetts, lives in New York.]

 A true portrait can never hide the inner life of its subject. It is interesting that in our culture we hide and cover the body, yet our faces are naked. Through a person’s face we can potentially see everything—the history and depth of that person’s life as well as their connection to an even deeper universal presence. 

Ludwig Wittgenstein
[Philosopher, b. 1889, Vienna, Austria, d. 1951, Cambridge, England.]

 The human body is the best picture of the human soul. 
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