Alec Soth's Archived Blog

April 23, 2007


Filed under: editorial photo,quotes — alecsothblog @ 4:13 pm

“Some people’s photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it already.” Helmut Newton


  1. On the flip side:

    “I’m a little foolhardy. Dangers of violence – rape, murder – are less frightening than making a living at fashion photography.” Diane Arbus

    Comment by Alec Soth — April 23, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

  2. I hate refering to myself as an artist. The word has certain connotations I’d rather avoid. Photography is a unique process of selection. You have the frame and the world! Szarkowski states – “It is today quite simple to make pictures that are as intelligent, cultivated, and original as the person who makes them…” and I guess this is where the “artistry” derives, through the photographer’s sensibilities.
    I’m a photographer and also teach part time as an adjunct. One of the hardest questions for me to answer is when someone asks, what do you do? “I’m a photographer”. Then I feel as if I need to clarify that… well, I do it for personal reasons, I have a gallery that shows my work, I don’t do weddings or commercial photography… I teach photography. My answer always comes off as a little vague and unclear. Sometimes it’s easier for me to just say, I’m a stay at home dad.

    Comment by edward — April 24, 2007 @ 1:45 pm

  3. I too get a little cringe sometimes when I think of myself as an ‘artist’…it feels like a perk of photography is the ability to seperate yourself from that word, but in the end I pay no mind to that feeling and leave it up to the talking heads to have discourse on that.

    Comment by Dan — April 25, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

  4. What a BS! I bet Mr. Newton did not say that while he was a starving artist. That’s easy for a famous people to say.

    Comment by yes — April 28, 2007 @ 3:45 am

  5. I believe the “art” is simply feeling manifest in any human endeavor, be it creating a photograph or a loaf of bread. Like the saying, feeling is the prayer, I believe it’s also what others define as “art”

    Perhaps the photographer Bayard Wooten, said it best.
    “To use a camera as a means of artistic expression, a certain quality of spirit
    must be brought to aid light & air” -Bayard Wootten 1926

    Comment by Bearz — April 29, 2007 @ 4:24 am

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