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) 

John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 ...an enormously larger number of photographs have been made by dumb amateurs, commercial drudges, half-sober news photographers, celebrity merchants, real-estate salesmen, etc., than by photographers with clear and clean artistic intentions—which suggests that the former groups have likely made a great many pictures that might appeal to those of us interested in what photographs can look like, and in how they may contain and convey meaning. 

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. 

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. 

Alfred Eisenstaedt
[Photographer, b. 1898, Dirschau, West Prussia (now Tczew, Poland), d. 1995, New York.]

 Once the amateur’s naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur. 

Inge Morath
[Photographer, b. 1923, Graz, Austria, d. 2002, New York.]

 In my heart I like to remain an amateur, in the sense of being in love with what I’m doing, forever astonished again at the endless possibilities of seeing and using the camera as a recording tool. 

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. 

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. 
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