Joan Didion
[Writer, b. 1934, Sacramento, California, lives in New York.]

 For however dutifully we record what we see around us, the common denominator of all we see is always, transparently, shamelessly, the implacable “I.” 

Roger Ballen
[Photographer, b. 1950, New York, lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.]

 My purpose in taking photographs over the past forty years has ultimately been about defining myself. It has been fundamentally a psychological and existential journey. 

William Wegman
[Artist, b. 1943, Holyoke, Massachusetts, lives in New York.]

 I was born on a tiny cot in southwestern Massachusetts during World War II. A sickly child, I turned to photography to overcome my loneliness and isolation. 

Leonard Freed
[Photographer, b. 1929, Brooklyn, New York, d. 2006, Garrison, New York.]

 Ultimately photography is about who you are. It’s the seeking of truth in relation to yourself. And seeking truth becomes a habit. 

Chester Higgins
[Photographer, b. 1946, Lexington, Kentucky, lives in Brooklyn, New York.]

 I had a choice: I could wail against the racism of the [prevailing] pictures or I could go and create photographs that would tell a contrary story. 

Bruce Davidson
[Photographer, b. 1933, Oak Park, Illinois, lives in New York.]

 I’ve had the privilege of being an outsider allowed on the inside, searching for beauty, meaning and myself. 

Daido Moriyama
[Photographer, b. 1938, Ikeda-cho, Osaka, Japan, lives in Tokyo.]

 I use the camera as a procedure by which continually to affirm my identity, asking myself: “What is the meaning of life in a world and among human beings as grotesque, scandalous, and accidental as the one in which I live and those with whom I interact?” 

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

 Being modern (and if we have the habit of looking at photographs, we are by definition modern), we understand all identities to be constructions. The only irrefutable reality—and our best clue to identity—is how people appear. 
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