John Loengard
[Photographer, editor, and critic, b. 1934, New York, lives in New York.]

 There really is no moment. The picture is the moment. 
 A Ming vase can be well-designed and well-made and is beautiful for that reason alone. I don’t think this can be true for photography. Unless there is something a little incomplete and a little strange, it will simply look like a copy of something pretty. We won’t take an interest in it. 
 Working alone on stories, I began to feel the anonymity of motels on interstate highways reached by jet planes and rental cars. It was hard to have a good time, and the only way I could make the loneliness excusable was by taking pictures I thought were very good, even valuable. 
 Usually I think if there is something imperfect in a photograph it makes the picture more real. Photographs that are slick, smooth, and perfect seem less honest to me. 
 Often the tension that exists between the pictorial content of a photograph and its record of reality is the picture’s true beauty. 
 I don’t think I have become more skillful a technician over time. I think I have become more skillful at finding pictures that fit a very simple technique... You have to learn what you can do well... My pictures reflect the fact that I’m trying as hard as I can, and I can’t do anything else. 
 When I teach a class I often give the assignment: “Photograph someone you love.” I ask people to do this so they have a subject about whom they have feelings, a subject that is more than a model, or an object, or a shape, or an idea. In this way, they can judge the result not only by its technical success, but also by how well it describes their feelings. 
 Photographers may be concerned, conceptual, confrontational, candid, casual, constructing, but what is important is that they have a point of view. 
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