It would be so easy to lose the plot now. It’s not about achieving something for its own sake, and taking pictures for their own sake. But to make conscious decisions and choices, and it includes this constant questioning—“Why am I taking pictures?” Because really, the world is... it has pictures enough. I mean, there are enough pictures out there.
If you go into a shoot with an idea, you only get that idea and you cut yourself off from the chance of getting a much better picture. And I guess that’s the problem that a lot of photographers probably have—that they don’t trust the situation they are putting themselves into. So they have a safety net and they don’t even try to leave that. But I find it intriguing to expose myself to somebody that I’ve not met, and see what happens.
Always take yourself seriously... it’s not the same as being pompous, or overly self-assured, but it is important to understand that the small little ideas that creep up in your mind, often contain the germ of a much larger project. All great art wasn’t born as great art. It first needed to be recognized by the artist him/herself. Through his or her belief in it, it became true.
Something interesting is happening: pictures are replacing words as messages. You could trace these elements to work I did 20 years ago, and obviously I am not responsible for that, but that sense that there is some significance in a piece of clothing on the floor. I cannot bitch about millions of people who photograph their food. But I didn't photograph plates or still lifes to show my friend: 'Look! I've just eaten this banana!' I really didn't, but I was accused in the 90s by critics that this was shallow, vacuous, unimportant subject matter.