Cornelius Jabez Hughes
[Photographer, b. 1819, London, d. 1894, London.]

 ... it is not to be wondered that the impulses forward should emanate rather from the amateur than the professional. The former pursues the art for pleasure, the latter for profit. The one can try all manner of experiments, and whether he succeed or fail he secures his object—agreeable occupation. (1863) 

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

 So who can pin down photography? We’re drunk with images. [Sontag’s] sick of it. I’m sick of it. But we’re moved by old amateur photographs because they aren’t concerned about theories of photography or what a picture must be. They’re just photographs without rules or dogma. 

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

 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. 
 An unassuming functional snapshot may be as visually interesting, as eloquent, as beautiful as the most acclaimed fine-art photographs. 

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. 

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) 

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. 

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. 
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