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

 We are all photographers suddenly, or surrounded by them. 

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

 I have always loved the amateur side of photography, automatic photographs, accidental photographs with uncentered compositions, heads cut off, whatever. I incite people to make their self-portraits. I see myself as their walking photo booth. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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) 

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. 

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. 
quotes 1-8 of 56
page 1 of 7 next page last page
display quotes