I looked through a lens and ended up abandoning everything else.
When I was just starting out, I met Cartier-Bresson. He wasn’t young in age but, in his mind, he was the youngest person I’d ever met. He told me it was necessary to trust my instincts, be inside my work, and set aside my ego. In the end, my photography turned out very different to his, but I believe we were coming from the same place.
Roland Barthes, in his book Camera Lucida, stated that photography, rather than film or television, is the collective memory of the world. As I see it, he’s right about this. Photography immortalize a moment, which then becomes a symbol, a reference. Photography is universal language; it doesn’t need translation. Its collective memory is a mirror in which our society continually observes itself.
I’m not an artist. An artist makes an object. Me, it’s not an object, I work in history, I’m a storyteller.
You photograph with all your ideology.
There comes a moment when it is no longer you who takes the photograph, but receives the way to do it quite naturally and fully. You need to be accepted by reality.
The picture is not made by the photographer, the picture is more good or less good in function of the relationship that you have with the people you photograph.
If you take a picture of a human that does not make him or her noble, there is no reason to take this picture. That is my way of seeing things.
~ Sebastião Salgado