I work in the street, but unlike many street photographers, I've never just come upon anything and photographed it. Although I take pictures of strangers, people that I'll never see again, I work with them, if only for a few seconds. This short collaboration begins the moment someone sees me approaching them with a camera. They have the option of walking away or of turning and saying "no," which some do. If not, I begin photographing. I use a wide-angle lens so I'm never more than about a foot away from the people I'm working with. Their reaction to my presence, the fact that I'm so physically close, makes my pictures look the way they do. These photographs could not have been made with a long lens from across the street.
Adapted from an interview at the
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, November, 1981.
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