André Breton
[Artist, writer, editor, and critic, b. 1896, Tinchebray, France, d. 1966, Paris, France.]

 Actually, it’s quite true that [Cartier-Bresson is] not waiting for anyone, since he’s not made any appointment, but the very fact that he’s adopting this ultra-receptive posture means that by this he wants to help chance along, how should I say, to put himself in a state of grace with chance, so that something might happen, so that someone might drop in. 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 I work rather blindly. I have a theory that seems to work with me that some of the best things you ever do sort of come through you. You don’t know where you get the impetus and response to what’s before your eyes. 

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

 A lot of photography is about the unexpected happening during the time that you do the work. So it’s not something that you can really predict. 

William Klein
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, lives in Paris.]

 Quite deliberately, I did the opposite to what was usually done. I thought that an absence of framing, chance, use of the accidental and a different relationship with the camera would make it possible to liberate the photographic image. There are some things that only a camera can do. The camera is full of possibilities as yet unexploited. But that is what photography is all about. The camera can surprise us. We must help it do so. 

Paolo Roversi
[Photographer, b. 1947, Ravenna, Italy, lives in Paris.]

 My studio is a place for chance, the dream, the imaginary to prevail. I give these forces as much space as I can. 

Joe Rosenthal
[Photographer, b. 1911, Washington, D.C., d. 2006, Novato, California.]

 When you take a picture like that, you don’t come away thinking that you got a great shot. You don’t know. (1955,on his photograph of U.S. Marines raising the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima.) 

Sally Mann
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]

 Like all photographers, I depend on serendipity, and when you’re photographing children there’s often an abundance of it. I would have an idea of what a photograph would look like and then something would happen—a dog might lumber in and become a critical element. I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance. 

Bill Brandt
[Photographer, b. 1904, Hamburg, Germany, d. 1983, London.]

 A photographer must be prepared to catch and hold onto those elements which give distinction to the subject or lend it atmosphere. They are often momentary, chance-sent things... 
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