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. 

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. 

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. 

Nan Goldin
[Photographer, b. 1953, Washington, D.C., lives in New York and Paris.]

 For me it is not a detachment to take a picture. It’s a way of touching somebody—it’s a caress.... I think that you can actually give people access to their own soul. 

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. 

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. 

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. 
 The world I was trying to present was one where I would feel good, where people would be friendly, where I could find the tenderness I longed for. My photos were like a proof that such a world could exist. 
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