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) 

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. 

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. 

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

 We are all photographers suddenly, or surrounded by them. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 
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