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Elliott Erwitt's Quotes

Elliott Erwitt profile photo

Born: 1928-07-26
Profession: Photographer
Nation: French
Biography of Elliott Erwitt

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It's almost embarrassing, but I do have one trick for taking portraits on commission. I carry one of these little bicycle horns in my pocket, and once in a while, when someone is sour-faced or stiff, I blow my horn. It sort of shatters the barriers. It's silly, but it works.

Tags: Once, Someone, While

Making books is a very specific kind of activity. It's not really a collection of your best pictures - although it is - but it's also a way of presenting your work so that it's not repetitive, so that it flows, and so that it makes sense in a book.

Tags: Best, Book, Work

Professionally I've evolved with what's required, but the pictures I do for pleasure haven't changed, except for the cars in the background, the clothing. I haven't changed at all.

Tags: Except, Pictures, Pleasure

The most awful museums are in China. They have magnificent stuff on display and just the worst way of displaying it. They just don't spend money on lighting and installation.

Tags: Money, Stuff, Worst

The ratio of successful shots is one in God-knows-how-many. Sometimes you'll get several in one contact sheet, and sometimes it's none for days. But as long as you go on taking pictures, you're likely to get a good one at some point.

Tags: Good, Sometimes, Successful

The thing is that when you don't carry a camera, that's when you see pictures in particular, or at least that's when you think you see pictures in particular. When you do carry it, if you do see one on the occasion that you do, you can take it.

Tags: Camera, Carry, Pictures

You can find pictures anywhere. It's simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what's around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.

Tags: Care, Human, Humanity

To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.

Tags: Art, Found, Place

I'm almost violent about that stuff - electronic manipulation of pictures. I think it's an abomination. I reject it all. I mean, it's OK for selling corn flakes or automobiles or for taking pimples out of Elizabeth Taylor's face, but it undermines the thing that photography is about, which is about observation and not about manipulation of images.

Tags: Almost, Face, Mean

Now very often events are set up for photographers... The weddings are orchestrated about the photographers taking the picture, because if it hasn't been photographed it doesn't really exist.

Tags: Often, Picture, Taking

A visual sense is something you either have or you don't.

Tags: Either, Sense, Visual

All of my marriages lasted seven years.

Tags: Lasted, Marriages, Seven

Be sure to take the lens cap off before photographing.

Tags: Lens, Off, Sure

I appreciate simplicity, true beauty that lasts over time, and a little wit and eclecticism that make life more fun.

Tags: Beauty, Life, Time

I enjoy nothing more than spending time with my loved ones, young and old, and at least once a year we get together for a formal family photograph.

Tags: Family, Time, Together

I like museums in Berlin a lot, especially in the eastern part. They're extraordinarily good.

Tags: Berlin, Good, Museums

I'll always be an amateur photographer.

Tags: Amateur

I'm an amateur photographer, apart from being a professional one, and I think maybe my amateur pictures are the better ones.

Tags: Apart, Maybe, Pictures

I'm not a serious photographer like many of my contemporaries. That is to say, I am serious about not being serious.

Tags: Serious

I've been around so long, most editors think I'm dead.

Tags: Dead, Editors

If your subjects are eternal... they'll survive.

Tags: Eternal, Subjects, Survive

Most photographers work best alone, myself included.

Tags: Alone, Best, Work

My 'work' is about seeing not about ideas.

Tags: Ideas, Seeing, Work

My life has been quite interesting professionally.

Tags: Life, Quite

Photography is pretty simple stuff. You just react to what you see, and take many, many pictures.

Tags: Pretty, Simple, Stuff

Somehow Photoshop and the ease with which one can produce an image has degraded the quality of photography in general.

Tags: General, Image, Quality
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The advantage of taking pictures of the famous is that they get published.

Tags: Famous, Pictures, Taking

When I get up in the morning I brush my teeth and go about my business, and if I am going anywhere interesting I take my camera along.

Tags: Along, Business, Morning

Covering a historic event is perfectly legitimate. It's not sneaking into somebody's boudoir... These people belong to history, and not to record that if you have the opportunity would be wrong.

Tags: History, Somebody, Wrong

Everybody's got to do something... I'd been on my own since an early age and I thought I better find something to do to buy biscuits and stuff. From high school onwards I was earning my way with photography, one way or another, working in darkrooms and taking pictures of weddings, neighbors' children and so on.

Tags: Age, Children, School

I don't really have a favorite camera. I use a Leica and Canon a lot. It depends, especially professionally, on the requirements. But my carry-around camera is a Leica.

Tags: Camera, Depends, Favorite

In those simpler days, you could just take pictures of movie stars and show them the way they were, as normal human beings. And if I felt part of any movement at the time, it was just to do that - to be journalistic and photograph what is, rather than what is made up.

Tags: Human, Rather, Time

Hope is tomorrow's veneer over today's disappointment.

Tags: Hope, Today, Tomorrow

America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.

Tags: Education, Money, Work

Housework is what a woman does that nobody notices unless she hasn't done it.

Tags: Done, Home, Woman

Definition of Statistics: The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures.

Tags: Business, Facts, Science

Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings.

Tags: Human, Place, Study

A signature always reveals a man's character - and sometimes even his name.

Tags: Character, Name, Sometimes

A husband is like a fire - he goes out when unattended.

Tags: Fire, Goes, Husband

The girl with a future avoids a man with a past.

Tags: Future, Girl, Past

A hamburger by any other name costs twice as much.

Tags: Costs, Name, Twice

Character is what you have left when you've lost everything you can lose.

Tags: Character, Lose, Lost

Definition of a Statistician: A man who believes figures don't lie, but admits than under analysis some of them won't stand up either.

Tags: Business, Lie, Stand

The mint makes it first, it is up to you to make it last.

Tags: Last, Makes, Mint

Over the past decade, prescribing information has grown more and more complex, more and more dense and more difficult to negotiate.

Tags: Complex, Difficult, Past

Our purpose in this project is to begin to turn that fear of cancer, actually America's greatest fear, into a future, not only free of fear, but full of hope.

Tags: Fear, Future, Hope

We will continue to do all we can to protect the public health against these dietary supplements that have been found to cause serious illness and injury.

Tags: Against, Health, Serious
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