Portraits aren’t fantasies; they need to tell a truth. My job is to bring out that truth. It is not the job of the person I am photographing. My guidance is what brings out each emotion, each nuance, each smile.
The best portraits, are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature.
I’ve always loved those portraits that Alfred Stieglitz did of Georgia O’Keeffe over several years, which really convey the idea that there’s not one image that can capture a woman, because we’re changing all the time.
Every portrait that is taken with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is the occasion. It is not he or she who is revealed by the photographer; it is rather the photographer who, through the camera, reveals himself.
“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.” – Richard Avedon
“I like to look at pictures, all kinds. And all those things you absorb come out subconsciously one way or another. You’ll be taking photographs and suddenly know that you have resources from having looked at a lot of them before. There is no way you can avoid this. But this kind of subconscious influence is good, and it certainly can work for one. In fact, the more pictures you see, the better you are as a photographer.” – Robert Mapplethorpe