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. 

André Kertész
[Photographer, b. 1894, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1985, New York.]

 I am an amateur and I intend to stay that way for the rest of my life. (1930) 

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. 

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. 

Donald McCullin
[Photographer, b. 1935, Finsbury Park, London, lives in Somerset, England.]

 Photography’s a case of keeping all the pores of the skin open, as well as the eyes. A lot of photographers today think that by putting on the uniform, the fishing vest, and all the Nikons, that that makes them a photographer. But it doesn’t. It’s not just seeing. It’s feeling. 

Fred Ritchin
[Critic and writer, b. 1952, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 We are all photographers suddenly, or surrounded by them. 

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. 

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. 
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