George Bataille
[Philosopher and writer, b. 1897, Billon, Puy-de-Dôme, France, d. 1962, Paris.]

 ...specialist art photographers can produce nothing more than rather tedious technical acrobatics. Press photographs or film stills are much more pleasurable to look at and much livelier than the majority of masterpieces that are presented for the public’s admiration. 

Thomas Ruff
[Photographer, b. 1958, Zell, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf, Germany.]

 I received my training at an art academy, so what I produce is art. That’s what is artistic about my photographs. 

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) 

Edward Weston
[Photographer, b. 1886, Highland Park, Illinois, d. 1958, Wildcat Hill, California.]

 Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be. 

Nathan Lyons
[Photographer, writer, and curator, b. 1930, Jamaica, New York, d. 2016, Rochester, New York.]

 The accidents of millions of amateurs devoid of a picture vocabulary—which produced an outpouring of multiple exposures, distortions, unusual perspectives, foreshortening of planes, imbalance—has contributed greatly to the visual vocabulary of all media since before the turn of the century. 

Elliott Erwitt
[Photographer, b. 1928, Paris, France, lives in New York.]

 It’s about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby. 

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. 

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. 
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