Terence Donovan
[Photographer, b. 1936, Stepney, England, d. 1996, London.]

 Don’t buy a Hasselblad unless you have a tripod and an assistant. If you drop the magazine, it tends to be embarrassing, like trying to spoon up your guacamole in Acapulco. When I see a Hampstead gynaecologist on holiday festooned with a Hasselblad and lenses and no tripod, I know he is a photographer wanker. 

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

 [Taking photographs is] almost embarrassing, everyone does it, after all. And everyone has the pictures in their head already anyway, all more or less the same. (2002) 

William Klein
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, lives in Paris.]

 I have always loved the amateur side of photography, automatic photographs, accidental photographs with uncentered compositions, heads cut off, whatever. I incite people to make their self-portraits. I see myself as their walking photo booth. 

Hiroshi Sugimoto
[Photographer, b. 1948, Tokyo, lives in New York.]

 I didn’t want to be criticized for taking low-quality photographs, so I tried to reach the best, highest quality of photography and then to combine this with a conceptual art practice. But thinking back, that was the wrong decision [laughs]. Developing a low-quality aesthetic is a sign of serious fine art—I still see this. 

Charlotte Cotton
[Curator and author, b. 1981, Cotswolds, England, lives in London.]

 We are not only a civilization of amateur photographers; we are amateur curators, editors, and publishers. 

Chuck Close
[Artist, b. 1940, Monroe, Washington, lives in New York.]

 I always say that inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. 

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

 An unassuming functional snapshot may be as visually interesting, as eloquent, as beautiful as the most acclaimed fine-art photographs. 
 Photography is the only major art in which professional training and years of experience do not confer an insuperable advantage over the untrained and inexperienced—this for many reasons, among them the large role that chance (or luck) plays in the taking of pictures, and the bias toward the spontaneous, the rough, the imperfect. 
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