Philippe Halsman
[Photographer, b. 1906, Riga, Latvia, d. 1979, New York.]

 I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and eventually I did it for money. 

Paul Strand
[Photographer, b. 1890, New York, d. 1976, Oregeval, France.]

 Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees. You may see and be affected by other people’s ways, you may even use them to find your own, but you will eventually have to free yourself of them. That is what Nietzsche meant when he said, “I have just read Schopenhauer, now I have to get rid of him.” He knew how insidious other people’s ways could be, particularly those which have the forcefulness of profound experience, if you let them get between you and your own vision. 

Larry Clark
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1943, Tulsa, Oklahoma, lives in New York.]

 [Eugene Smith] was always writing these diatribes about truth, and how he wanted to tell the truth, the truth, the truth. It was a real rebel position. It was kind of like a teenager’s position: why can’t things be like they should be? Why can’t I do what I want? I latched on to that philosophy. One day I snapped, hey, you know, I know a story that no one’s ever told, never seen, and I’ve lived it. It’s my own story and my friends’ story. 

Martin Munkacsi
[Photographer, b. 1898, Kolozsvár, Hungary, (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania), d. 1963, New York.]

 My trick—is there one? Well, perhaps a bitter youth with many changes of occupation, with the necessity of trying everything from poetry to berry picking. These difficult early years probably constitute the sources of my modest photographic activity. 

Berenice Abbott
[Photographer, writer, teacher, b. 1898, Springfield, Ohio, d. 1991, Monson, Maine.]

 There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own. 

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

 The thing that influences me the most is my own pictures. 

John Sexton
[Photographer, b. 1953, Maywood, California, lives in California.]

 Pictures you have taken have an influence on those that you are going to make. That’s life! 

Joel-Peter Witkin
[Photographer, b. 1939, Brooklyn, New York, lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.]

 My grandmother had only one leg and in the morning I would wake up and smell her gangrenous leg. Where most kids would wake up and smell coffee, I would wake up and smell grandmother’s rotting leg. 
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