Mary Ellen Mark
[Photographer, b. 1940, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, d. 2015, New York.]

 It’s important for me to be honest. The men, women, and children I photograph are straightforward with me. I have to respect them for what they are… What I look for is compassion, not pity. 

Nan Goldin
[Photographer, b. 1953, Washington, D.C., lives in New York and Paris.]

 For me it is not a detachment to take a picture. It’s a way of touching somebody—it’s a caress.... I think that you can actually give people access to their own soul. 

Weegee (Usher Fellig)
[Photographer, b. 1899, Zlothew near Lemberg, Austrian Galicia (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), d. 1968, New York.]

 When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track. 

Jerome Liebling
[Photographer, b. 1924, New York, d. 2011, Northampton, Massachusetts.]

 My sympathies have always been with the everyday people... the center of my photography. 

Larry Burrows
[Photographer, b. 1926, London, d. 1971, Laos.]

 Do I have the right to carry on working and leave a man suffering? To my mind, the answer is no, you have got to help him... You cannot go through these elements without, obviously feeling something yourself—you cannot be mercenary in this way because it will make you less of a photographer... 

Dorothea Lange
[Photographer, b. 1895, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1965, San Francisco.]

 I am trying here to say something about the despised, the defeated, the alienated. About death and disaster, about the wounded, the crippled, the helpless, the rootless, the dislocated. About finality. About the last ditch. 

John Steinbeck
[Writer, b. 1902, Salinas, California, d. 1968, Sag Harbor, New York.]

 ... the camera need not be a cold mechanical device. Like the pen, it is as good as the man who uses it. It can be an extension of the mind and heart. 

Peter Turnley
[Photographer, b. 1955, Fort Wayne, Indiana, lives in New York and Paris.]

 The one thing that is always clear in my mind is that the people, and their stories, and the themes of life that I photograph are always more important to me than the process of photography itself. 
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