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All Quotes by author - Mary Ellen Mark
" A lot of people who don't have anything collect dogs; it's kind of a symbol of having something. "
" As a kid, I used to dream about airplanes before I ever flew in one. I really knew, when I started photographing, I wanted it to be a way of knowing different cultures, not just in other countries but in this country, too, and I knew I wanted to enter other lives. I knew I wanted to be a voyeur. "
" During prom season, I travel around the country with a 20-by-24 camera - which is logistically complicated - and photograph proms. My husband made a film of it. "
" Every photograph is the photographer's opinion about something. It's how they feel about something: what they think is horrible, tragic, funny. "
" I always think, 'What does this picture mean? What's the best place to put my camera? Do I have anything extra in the picture, things in the background that will distract? Am I in the basic position that will give the essential things for this picture but not too much?' "
" I could spend my whole life photographing circuses. They combine everything I'm interested in - they're ironic, poetic, and corny at the same time. There's also something about a circus that's magical, sentimental, and almost tragic, like a Fellini film. "
" I don't like gimmicky pictures; I've always hated them. I like pictures that are very clear and clean, whether you're a great street photographer - somebody like Friedlander or Winogrand or Cartier-Bresson - or whether you're a portraitist, like Irving Penn. "
" I don't like to photograph children as children. I like to see them as adults, as who they really are. I'm always looking for the side of who they might become. "
" I don't relax. I can't take vacations. I'm obsessive-compulsive, and I worry with every project that I'm going to fail. When it starts to go well, and I sense that something beautiful and important and meaningful is being created, it's a fantastic feeling, and I find it very hard to stop. "
" I don't see how a woman in documentary photography could have children. I think it's a very difficult thing to do to raise a family, and I have enormous respect for people who do it. I'd hate to do something like that and not be good at it. "
" If I hadn't become a photographer, I would have loved to become a doctor. I would have loved to have done something that actually helped people and changed their lives. "
" If I'm in an unusual or extreme social environment, I always want to know what it's like to grow up there and experience it as normal, everyday life. And I want to know what sort of adults these children are going to turn into. "
" I have an incredible relationship with dogs. I'm kind of a dog-whisperer. "
" I just think it's important to be direct and honest with people about why you're photographing them and what you're doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul. "
" I knew from the first moment I picked up a camera, on my first school assignment, what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was going to find a way to travel the world and tell the stories of the people I met through photographs. "
" I love dogs. I absolutely adore them. When I'm teaching in Mexico, I rescue dogs from the streets and make my students adopt them. "
" I love to photograph people in their own environment. It offers clues to what's important in their lives. "
" I'm a documentary photographer. That's what I've always wanted to be; that's where my heart and soul is. "
" I'm a street photographer, but I'm interested in any ironic, whimsical images, and there's something very romantic about a circus. "
" I'm just interested in people on the edges. I feel an affinity for people who haven't had the best breaks in society. I'm always on their side. I find them more human, maybe. What I want to do more than anything is acknowledge their existence. "
" I'm just interested in what makes a photograph. "
" I'm most interested in finding the strangeness and irony in reality. That's my forte. "
" I'm not against digital photography. It's great for newspapers. And there are photographers doing great work digitally. When they use Photoshop as a darkroom tool, that's fine, too. But at this point of my life, after so many years, I don't really want to change, and I still love film. "
" I'm not much for cats. I'm terrified of mice. I've worked a lot with elephants, and they are extremely intelligent and sensitive, and thankfully, they seem to like me. You never want to get on the bad side of an elephant. And never trust a chimp. "
" I'm staying with film, and with silver prints, and no Photoshop. That's the way I learned photography: You make your picture in the camera. Now, so much is made in the computer... I'm not anti-digital; I just think, for me, film works better. "
" In 1965, I was in Trabzon in eastern Turkey on a Fulbright scholarship. I would get up every morning and walk around the streets and look for photographs. "
" In every successful still photographic project that I have completed, there has always been a turning point in the story where I felt that perhaps I was working on something that could be very special. "
" I realized all of the possibilities that could exist for me with my camera: all of the images that I could capture, all of the lives I could enter, all of the people I could meet and how much I could learn from them. "
" I really knew when I started photographing I wanted it to be a way of knowing different cultures, not just in other countries but in this country, too, and I knew I wanted to be a voyeur. "
" I remember the first time I went out on the street to shoot pictures. I was in downtown Philadelphia, and I just took a walk and started making contact with people and photographing them, and I thought, 'I love this. This is what I want to do forever.' There was never another question. "
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