Richard Avedon Quotes

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A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he is 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.
— Richard Avedon

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More Richard Avedon Quotes

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All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.

Richard Avedon

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Any artist picks and chooses what they want to paint or write about or say. Photographers are the same.

Richard Avedon

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Anything is an art if you do it at the level of an art.

Richard Avedon

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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.

Richard Avedon

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Click! In other words, I'm in a very controlling position, and I can bring... and I've already... if the camera's on you, your face is very concentrated. You're listening. You don't know what I'm going to say next, and now you're smiling. All these things are the things I work with.

Richard Avedon

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Faces are the ledgers of our experience.

Richard Avedon

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Fashion is where I make my living. I'm not knocking it; it's a pleasure to make a living that way. Then there's the deeper pleasure of doing my portraits.

Richard Avedon

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How many pictures have you torn up because you hate them? What ends up in your scrapbook? The pictures where you look like a good guy and a good family man, and the children look adorable - and they're screaming the next minute. I've never seen a family album of screaming people.

Richard Avedon

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I am always stimulated by people. Almost never by ideas.

Richard Avedon

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I can see myself as a very old man in a terrific wheelchair. Only, I won't be photographing the tree outside my window, the way Steichen did. I'll be photographing other old people.

Richard Avedon

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I hate cameras. They interfere, they're always in the way. I wish: if I could work with my eyes alone.

Richard Avedon

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I never wanted to be called an artist. I wanted to be called a photographer.

Richard Avedon

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I see pictures of myself and I always knew that what I was feeling didn't look like that guy in the pictures.

Richard Avedon

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I think all art is about control - the encounter between control and the uncontrollable.

Richard Avedon

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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.

Richard Avedon

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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?

Richard Avedon

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Just advertising departments with legs and high heels.

Richard Avedon

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My parents put the New Yorker in my crib. I saw Vogue and Vanity Fair around the house before I could read.

Richard Avedon

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My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.

Richard Avedon

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People - running from unhappiness, hiding in power - are locked within their reputations, ambitions, beliefs.

Richard Avedon

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People, unprotected by their roles, become isolated in beauty and intellect and illness and confusion.

Richard Avedon

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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.

Richard Avedon

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Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me.

Richard Avedon

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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.

Richard Avedon

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The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion.

Richard Avedon

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There's always been a separation between fashion and what I call my deeper work.

Richard Avedon

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What ends up in your scrapbook? The pictures where you look like a good guy and a good family man, and the children look adorable - and they're screaming the next minute. I've never seen a family album of screaming people.

Richard Avedon

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A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he is 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.

Richard Avedon