“I am interested in what motivates individuals, what they do with their lives, their personalities, and how I perceive and interpret them. But of equal importance, or of perhaps even greater importance is that, even if the person is not known or already forgotten, the photograph itself should still be of interest or even excite the viewer. That is what my life and work is all about.”
“I was scared to do anything in the studio because it felt so claustrophobic. I wanted to be somewhere where things could happen and the subject wasn’t just looking back at you.”
I’d go down to the end of my street, to a garage that had a certain feeling about it, or a particular light; I’d take a picture of a friend who needed a head shot. That’s how I learned, instead of having school assignments and learning camera techniques.
– Herb Ritts
You don’t need to see the whole person to produce a portrait that feels revealing, personal and intimate. Sometimes, a suggestion or a small detail may fuel the imagination, taking the picture away from being a simple description and making it more real and significant.
“It never seemed important to me that my photos be published. It’s important that I take them. There were periods where I didn’t have money, and I would imagine that someone would come to me and say: “Here is money, you can go do your photography, but you must not show it.” I would have accepted right away. On the other hand, if someone had come to me saying: “Here is money to do your photography, but after your death it must be destroyed”, I would have refused.”
– Joseph Koudelka
I don’t really remember the day when I stood behind my camera with Henry Kissinger on the other side. I am sure he doesn’t remember it either. But this photograph is here now to prove that no amount of kindness on my part could make this photograph mean exactly what he… or even I… wanted it to mean. It’s a reminder of the wonder and terror that is a photograph.
– Richard Avedon
“I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before.”
– Robert Mapplethorpe
“My approach to photographing a flower is not much different than photographing a cock. Basically, it’s the same thing.”
– Robert Mapplethorpe