August Sander – 1876 – 1964 – German Portrait Photographer, very simple photographs, quite formal, film, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/august-sander-5319 wanted to photograph all types of people

‘I hate nothing more than sugary photographs with tricks, poses and effects. So allow me to be honest and tell the truth our age and its people.’

Bertolt Brech – 1898 – 1956 – German –

‘Photography has become a formidable weapon against truth in the hands of bourgeoisie. The enormous quantity of picture material spit out daily by the printing press that consequently appears to possess the character of truth, actually serves only to obscure he facts. The camera can lie just like the type-setting machine.’

Bill Brandt – 1904-1983 English photographer different shapes used in body parts. Documented his time, eg school children, things on the street and a lot of parks. Addressed gay, death and gender themes.

‘I am not very interested in extraordinary angles. They can be effective on certain occasions, but I do not feel the necessity for them in my own work. Indeed, I feel the simplest approach can often be most effective. A subject placed squarely in the centre of the frame, if attention is not distracted from it by fussy surroundings, has a simple dignity which makes it all the more impressive.’

Duane Michals – freelance fashion & portrait photographer. Uses sequences of photographs. Sometimes used himself as a model.

‘Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…” And then do it.’

Edward Weston – 1886-1958 Lots of abstract shapes. Uses natural shapes eg veg and shells. Basic compositions eg lines, uses natural light. Photos of trees, sky with interesting shapes. ‘I would say to any artist:

‘Don’t be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.’

Eliot Erwitt – 1928- Russian heritage born in Paris Campaigns for photographers rights. President of Magnum in late 60s for three years. Takes a lot of photos of dogs and children lots of streets photography.

‘I wasn’t imposing my presence on anyone, which is very important for a would-be journalist. I stayed back. Always let people be themselves.’

Jan Groover still life, some strange positions & shapes of food

‘You have to follow your nose… to have a mental attitude about what you feel good about and yearn for in a picture. Being able to say “I like it” or “I don’t like it”. That’s first.’

 Juergen Teller – 1964+ fashion photographer, strange and odd photos – strange facial expressions

‘Juergen has a very strong individual voice, which is rather a rare accomplishment these days. I love his ability to say out loud what other people our afraid to even think.” – Helmut Lang. Teller became the documentation of Lang’s designs.

Martin Parr – 1952 + bright colours, documentation, street stuff. Subtly shows traditions.

‘I go straight in very close to people and i do that because its the only way you can get the picture. You go right up to them. Even now, i don’t find it each. I don’t announce it. I pretend to be focusing elsewhere. If you take someone’s photograph it is very difficult not to look at them just after. But its the one thing that gives the game away. I don’t try and hide what I’m doing – that would be folly.’

Minor White – 1908-1976 – landscapes & abstract photos,

‘Let the subject generate its own photographs. Become a camera’

Nan Goldin – 1953+ taken photos of drag queens also came into peoples homes and documented there lives. Took photos of horrific parts of her life such as her being hit, people taking drugs and aids. Some intimate moments and snippets of peoples lives

‘The complete disregard for the camera’s presence indicates its complete saturation in their lives. The subject neither notices nor seems to care that someone has been invited into their private moment.’


Paul Caponigro – 1932+ landscape photos. Repetitive shapes

‘It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.’

Philippe Halsman – 1906-1979 – portraits in general Bizzarre/strange portraits. Used to shoot for LIFE magazine. Lots of jumping.

‘The immortal photographers will be straightforward photographers, those who do not rely on tricks or special techniques.’

Robert Capa – 1913-1954 documented the spanish civil war and 2nd world war.

‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’

Robert Frank – 1924+ documentary photography – Americans

‘I have been frequently accused of deliberately twisting subject matter to my point of view. Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love. It is important to see what is invisible reaction to others. Perhaps the look of hope or the look of sadness. Also it is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.’

Yousef Karsh – 1908-2002 – portraits, simple photographs.

‘Photography is, to me, more than a means of expression, more than my particular profession – it is a way of life. And if I were asked to choose one word which holds the key to my work I would select ‘light’ – for light is my language, and it is international, readily understood by any person of any race. It has been my good fortune to welcome before my camera many great men and woman who have made their mark on our generation and will find a place in history. I feel that my life’s work is to interpret the best of my ability, the inner strength, the true character, of these personalities, through the medium of photographic portraiture. I can think of no elation equal to that when something close to my ideal is achieved, through necessarily there must always be a spark of what I call ‘divine discontent’ – the constant striving for near-perfection. In this self-appointed task, which also carries, I believe, a great sense of responsibility, the medium of light is all important. It is the portraitist’s chief tool, and he can never learn enough about it. ‘  


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