…“What is the purpose of my photography, of my taking pictures?” What I am trying to capture in the picture is… I’m trying to sum up a personality as much as it is humanly possible. I know it is like the [mathematical constant] “pi.” You never get the complete and final answer, but you can come as close ti it as possible. It seems to me that if I am producing an honest psychological document about a human being, this picture might later become the visual symbol for the entire personality of my subject. In some cases it has worked out like this. For instance my picture of Professor Einstein is now the picture that everybody thinks of when Einstein is mentioned. It was used on the postage stamp and it was used on the cover of many of his biographies. It is probably also one of the deepest and most interesting portraits that i have made.

on the question: "If you were interviewing Philippe Halsman, are there any specific questions you would ask him?"

Photographers on Photography : A Critical Anthology by Nathan Lyons (Editor)

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