Larry Fink
[Photographer, b. 1941, Brooklyn, New York, lives in Martins Creek, Pennsylvania.]

 [Photography is] the idea of the transformative merger between you and the person you are seeing, that you somehow try to enter their form, their skin, their mass, their muscle, and potentially, possibly, their soul. 

Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon)
[Photographer, b. 1820, Paris, d. 1910, Paris.]

 According to Balzac’s theory, all physical bodies are made up entirely of layers of ghostlike images, an infinite number of leaflike skins laid on top of one another. Since Balzac believed man was incapable of making something material from an apparition—that is, creating something from nothing—he concluded that every time someone had his photograph taken, one of the spectral layers was removed from the body and transferred to the photograph. Repeated exposures entailed the unavoidable loss of subsequent ghostly layers, that is, the very essence of life. 

Nobuyoshi Araki
[Photographer, b. 1940, Tokyo, lives in Tokyo.]

 Don’t you think that it is necessary to have a sense of brutality in photography? 

Vladimir Nabokov
[Writer, b. 1899, St. Petersburg, Russia, d. 1977, Montreux, Switzerland.]

 And by the striped man
directed at the sunny sand
blinked with a click of its black eyelid
the camera’s ocellus.

That bit of film imprinted
all it could catch,
the stirless child,
his radiant mother,

and a toy pail and two beach spades,
and some way off a bank of sand,
and I, the accidental spy,
I in the background have also been taken.

Next winter, in an unknown house,
grandmother will be shown an album,
and in that album there will be a snapshot,
and in that snapshot I shall be.

My likeness among strangers,
one of my August days,
my shade they never noticed,
my shade they stole in vain.
(1927) 

Vik Muniz
[Artist, b. 1961, Sao Paulo, Brazil, lives in New York.]

 In photography, the theater of consumption assumes yet another curious form: whenever someone buys a picture, he or she is subliminally buying part of the soul of the picture’s subject. We buy a picture of a thing, just for the sensation of owning a remotely detached and mediated part of that thing. 

Francis Bruguière
[Artist and photographer, b. 1879, San Francisco, d. 1945, London.]

 What lives in pictures is very difficult to define... it finally becomes a thing beyond the thing portrayed... some sort of section of the soul of the artist that gets detached and comes out to one from the picture. 

Subcommander Marcos (Rafael Sebastian Guillén Vicente)
[Professor and revolutionary, b. 1957, Tampico, Mexico, lives in Chiapas, Mexico.]

 ... the photographer is a thief who chooses what he steals (which, at this stage of the crisis, is a luxury) and does not “democratize” the image, that is to say, the photographer selects the pictures, a privilege which ought to be granted to the person being photographed. 

Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 ... we photographers are nothing but a pack of crooks, thieves and voyeurs. We are to be found everywhere we are not wanted; we betray secrets that were never entrusted to us; we spy shamelessly on things that are not our business; And end up the hoarders of a vast quantity of stolen goods. 
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