My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.— Richard Avedon
The most restlessness Richard Avedon quotes that will transform you to a better person
All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
And if a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up. I know that the accident of my being a photographer has made my life possible.
I always prefer to work in the studio.
It isolates people from their environment. They become in a sense... symbolic of themselves. I often feel that people come to me to be photographed as they would go to a doctor or a fortune teller - to find out how they are.
A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
I've worked out of a series of no's. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no's force me to the yes. I have a white background. I have the person I'm interested in and the thing that happens between us.
The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion.
A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he is being photographed
A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he's being photographed, and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he's wearing or how he looks. He's implicated in what's happening, and he has a certain real power over the result.
I am, and forever will be, devastated by the gift of Audrey Hepburn before my camera. I cannot lift her to greater heights. She is already there. I can only record. I cannot interpret her. There is no going further than who she is. She has achieved in herself her ultimate portrait.
I believe that you've got to love your work so much that it is all you want to do.
Just advertising departments with legs and high heels.
My parents put the New Yorker in my crib.
I saw Vogue and Vanity Fair around the house before I could read.
You can't get at the thing itself, the real nature of the sitter, by stripping away the surface. You can only get beyond the surface by working with the surface. All that you can do is manipulate that surface - gesture, costume, expression - radically and correctly.
When you pose for a photograph, it's behind a smile that isn't yours.
You are angry and hungry and alive. What I value in you is that intensity. I want to make portraits as intense as people.
My photographs don't go below the surface.
They don't go below anything. They're readings of the surface. I have great faith in surfaces. A good one is full of clues.
i think charm is the ability to be truly interested in other people
A portrait photographer depends upon another person to complete his picture.
The subject imagined, which in a sense is me, must be discovered in someone else willing to take part in a fiction he cannot possibly know about.
Real people move, they bear with them the element of time.
It is this fourth dimension of people that I try to capture in a photograph.
To be an artist, you have to nurture the things that most people discard.
It's in trying to direct the traffic between Artiface [sic] and Candor, without being run over, that I'm confronted with the questions about photography that matter most to me.
The way someone who's being photographed presents himself to the camera, and the effect of the photographer's response on that presence, is what the making of a portrait is all about.
Camera lies all the time. It’s all it does is lie, because when you choose this moment instead of this moment, when you… the moment you’ve made a choice, you’re lying about something larger. Lying is an ugly word. I don’t mean lying. But any artist picks and chooses what they want to paint or write about or say. Photographers are the same.
Faces are the ledgers of our experience.
I know that the accident of my being a photographer has made my life possible.
Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me.
My concern is... the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own.
One man's fantasy is another man's job.
I am always stimulated by people. Almost never by ideas.
People — running from unhappiness, hiding in power — are locked within their reputations, ambitions, beliefs.
Photography has always reminded me of the second child.
. trying to prove itself. The fact that it wasn't really considered an art.. that it was considered a craft.. has trapped almost every serious photographer.
He sleeps fastest who sleeps alone.
It's not hard being great occasionally. It's difficult to be good consistently.
People, unprotected by their roles, become isolated in beauty and intellect and illness and confusion.
Start with a style and you are in chains, start with an idea and you are free.
I never wanted to be called an artist. I wanted to be called a photographer.
Anything is an art if you do it at the level of an art.
I see pictures of myself and I always knew that what I was feeling didn't look like that guy in the pictures.
I always prefer to work in the studio. It isolates people from their environment
I don't really remember the day when I stood behind my camera with Henry Kissinger on the other side. I am sure he doesn't remember it either. But this photograph is here now to prove that no amount of kindness on my part could make this photograph mean exactly what he.. or even I.. wanted it to mean. It's a reminder of the wonder and terror that is a photograph.
Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me.
When I was a boy, my family took great care with our snapshots.
We really planned them. We made compositions. We posed in front of expensive cars, homes, that werent ours. We borrowed dogs. Almost every family picture taken of us when I was young had a different borrowed dog in it.
I think all art is about control - the encounter between control and the uncontrollable.
I hate cameras. They interfere, they’re always in the way. I wish: if I could just work with my eyes alone. To get a satisfactory print, one that contains all that you intended, is very often more difficult and dangerous than the sitting itself. When I’m photographing, I immediately know when I’ve got the image I really want. But to get the image out of the camera and into the open, is another matter.
If each photograph steals a bit of the soul, isn't it possible that I give up pieces of mine every time I take a picture?
There is no truth in photography. There is no truth about anyone's person.
We all perform. It's what we do for each other all the time, deliberately or unintionally. It's a way of telling about ourselves in the hope of being recognized as what we'd like to be.--PERFORMANCE
If I could do what I want with my eyes alone, I would be happy.
The pictures have a reality for me that the people don't.
It is through the photographs that I know them.
I've photographed just about everyone in the world.
But what I hope to do is photograph people of accomplishment, not celebrity, and help define the difference once again.
Snapshots that have been taken of me working show something I was not aware of at all, that over and over again I'm holding my own body or my own hands exactly like the person I'm photographing. I never knew I did that, and obviously what I'm doing is trying to feel, actually physically feel, the way he or she feels at the moment I'm photographing them in order to deepen the sense of connection.