George Rodger
[Photojournalist, b. 1908, Hale, Cheshire, England, d. 1995, Smarden, Kent, England.]

 When I discovered that I could look at the horror of Belsen—4,000 dead and starving lying around—and think only of a nice photographic composition, I knew something had happened to me and it had to stop. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 I frequently have sought out those who are in the least position to speak for themselves. By accident of birth, by accident of place—whoever, whatever, wherever—I am of their family. I can comment for them, if I believe in their cause, with a voice they do not possess. 

Robert Doisneau
[Photographer, b. 1912, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne, France, d. 1994, Montrouge, France.]

 You must not trample on other people’s secret gardens. You must remember: to suggest is to create; to describe is to destroy. 

Martha Rosler
[Artist, b. 1943, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]

 The exposé, the compassion and outrage, of documentary fueled by the dedication to reform has shaded over into combinations of exoticism, tourism, voyeurism, psychologism and metaphysics, trophy hunting—and careerism. 

Mary Ellen Mark
[Photographer, b. 1940, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, d. 2015, New York.]

 It’s important for me to be honest. The men, women, and children I photograph are straightforward with me. I have to respect them for what they are… What I look for is compassion, not pity. 

Rineke Dijkstra
[Photographer, b. 1959, Sittard, The Netherlands, lives in Amsterdam.]

 For me it is essential to understand that everyone is alone. Not in the sense of loneliness, but rather in the sense that no one can completely understand someone else. I know very well what Diane Arbus means when she says that one cannot crawl into someone else’s skin, but there is always an urge to do so anyway. I want to awaken definite sympathies for the person I have photographed. 

Weegee (Usher Fellig)
[Photographer, b. 1899, Zlothew near Lemberg, Austrian Galicia (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), d. 1968, New York.]

 When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track. 

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

 You cannot walk on the water of hunger, misery, and death. You have to wade through to record them. 
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