Eve Arnold

Eve Arnold

Biography

Author Profession: US Photographer
Born: April 21, 1912
Died: January 04, 2012
Birth Sign: Taurus

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Eve Arnold quotes

What do you hang on the walls of your mind?

If you are careful with people, they will offer you part of themselves. That is the big secret.

If the chemistry is right between star and photographer and the geometry of the pictures pleases the star, often the two people end up with a long-term professional friendship during which they continue to work together and to produce highly personal images.

It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.

If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given.

I don't see anybody as either ordinary or extraordinary. I see them simply as people in front of my lens.

You should never reveal your true age.

It's hard for me to assess what I brought because each time you pick up a camera and point it at a person, you're trying to define that person so to talk generally is difficult because I have to think of a given image in order to conjure up what we're talking about.

What has changed is that when I photographed, most people that I photographed didn't have the right of refusal on their work. It would take a Marilyn Monroe at her height to be able to dictate that.

I love the idea I can go off with a single camera and a few rolls of film unencumbered... I was not interested in the illusion of reality, I wanted to get close to what was happening.

Lesson number one: Pay attention to the intrusion of the camera.

What you need to be a good photographer is an overwhelming curiosity and a good digestion. Sometimes you feel blessed with curiosity, sometimes you feel cursed with it.

I want the subject to be in control. Because they will give me something I couldn't possibly know about them.

Themes recur again and again in my work.

What drove me and kept me going over the decades? If I had to use a single word, it would be 'curiosity.'

What I have tried to do is involve the people I was photographing... if they were willing to give, I was willing to photograph.

I find going back through things sometimes exhilarating because I find things I didn't know I had, and sometimes it's very off putting because there are things I never quite finished, and there's nothing at all to do about it now.

I have been poor and I wanted to document poverty; I had lost a child and I was obsessed with birth; I was interested in politics and I wanted to know how it affected our lives; I am a woman and I wanted to know about women.

I realise that I had the best of serious picture journalism. There was an innocence in our approach, especially in the 1950s and 1960s when we naively believed that by holding a mirror up to the world we could help - no matter how little - to make people aware of the human condition.

Recording sessions were stimulating to photograph, because everything was in motion: the subject, the musicians, the technicians and the photographer. You needed fast reflexes to keep up with moving targets, and sensitivity and skill to get the pictures while keeping out of the performers' eyeline so as not to break their concentration.

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