I love the people I photograph. I mean, they're my friends. I've never met most of them or I don't know them at all, yet through my images I live with them. At the same time, they are symbols. The people in my pictures aren't Mr. Jones or Mr. Smith or whatever; they're someone that crossed my path or I've crossed their path, and through the medium of photography I've been able to make a good picture of that encounter. They have a life of their own, but they are also are symbols. I would say that I respect the viewer, but I don't want to tell him everything. Hopefully, there's an element of mystery involved. I like him to look at a picture and say "Well, that that reminds me of someone," and make up a little story in his head, make him smile, brighten up his day. I think this is what I'm trying to achieve with my photographs.
As Robert Frank wrote, “It’s important to see what’s invisible to others”. If you don’t look at the things I look at, how can you help people? You know, people may say they care, but they don’t look. You can’t sit behind your desk and tell me about the world. I’m out in the world.
Dig deep into yourself, try to see who you are, what your interests are, and then go out and try and photograph that. Try to express yourself through your photography.
I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them. At the same time, they are symbols. They have a life of their own, but they are also symbols.
In 1966, when I printed my first picture and I saw it coming out, I got really hooked on photography. It was a picture of a cute little squirrel!
To be a good photographer, you don't have to be a genius. You have to persevere, know who you are and know what you want to say.
All of my images are personal. They’re all about me. That’s who I know. And that’s what I’m interested in. I work on intuition and the backgrounds and details are very important to me: it all has to come together. Of course, some pictures are better than others but I’ve always photographed who I am.
Angles are very important to me. I like the indecisive moments and when candid pictures are too perfect, I find that it looks almost staged. My pictures are slices of life. The subjects I photograph are always very elegant and the picture well formed. That’s why I do a lot of fashion photography because I have a very good eye for textiles and I know how to form a picture. To me, a good photograph should be well formed and have strong emotional content.
I wonder how many [people] really know the history of photography? What you should try to achieve is to add to what’s been done before. Make it better, make it unique, make it yours. That, I think, is the key.
…some people use me as an influence. That’s fine, but you’d better be strong enough to overcome my influence, otherwise, all you’re going to be is a second-rate Bruce Gilden.
[You have to] dig deep into yourself, try to see who you are, what your interests are; and then go out and try and photograph that. Try to express yourself through your photography.