MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE
[1904 – 1971] American photojournalist and documentary photographer

 
A kind of golden hour one remembers for a life time... Everything was touched with magic. - Margaret Bourke-White
The element of discovery is very important. I don't repeat myself well. I want and need that stimulus of walking forward from one new world to another. There is something demoralizing about going back to a place to retake pictures. You can no longer see your subjects in a fresh eye; you keep comparing them with the pictures you hold in your memory. [The] world was full of discoveries waiting to be made...(as a photographer) I could share the things I saw and learned...you would react to something all others might walk by. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
[Life wanted] faces that would express what we wanted to tell. Not just the unusual or striking face, but the face that would speak out the message from the printed page. I am always looking for some typical person or face that will tie the picture essay together in a human way. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand. - Margaret Bourke-White
They [her subjects] believed I would be trying to get the truth of the question, and they trusted me. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
The very secret of life for me...was to maintain in the midst of rushing events an inner tranquillity. I had picked a life that dealt with excitement, tragedy, mass calamities, human triumphs and suffering. To throw my whole self into recording and attempting to understand these things, I needed an inner serenity as a kind of balance. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
We are in a privileged and sometimes happy position. We see a great deal of the world. Our obligation is to pass it on to others. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
on war and photojournalism.
If you want to photograph a man spinning, give some thought to why he spins. Understanding for a photographer is as important as the equipment he uses. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
As photographers, we live through things so swiftly. All our experience and training is focused toward snatching off the highlights...That all significant perfect moment, so essential to capture, is often highly perishable. There may be little opportunity to probe deeper. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
I have always thought that if I could turn back the pages of history and photograph one man, my choice would be Moses. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
The camera is a remarkable instrument. Saturate yourself with your subject, and the camera will all but take you by the hand and point the way. - Margaret Bourke-White
By some special graciousness of fate I am deposited -- as all good photographers like to be -- in the right place at the right time. Go into it [photography] as young as possible. Bring all the asset you have and play to win. - Margaret Bourke-White , Portrait of Myself by Margaret Bourke-White
written after she was stricken with Parkinson's disease.
If anyone gets in my way when I’m making a picture, I become irrational. I’m never sure what I am going to do, or sometimes even aware of what I do—only that I want that picture. - Margaret Bourke-White
If anybody gets in my way when I’m making a picture, I become irrational. I’m never sure what I‘m going to do--only that I want that picture. - Margaret Bourke-White
The world was waiting to be full of discovery made...(as a photographer) I could share the things I saw and learned....you would react to something all others might walk by. - Margaret Bourke-White
Utter truth is essential and that is what stirs me when I look through the camera. - Margaret Bourke-White
We see a great deal of the world. Our obligation is to pass it on to others. - Margaret Bourke-White
Source: Popular Photography, May 2007
Any photographer who tries to portray human beings in a penetrating way must put more heart and mind into his preparation than will ever show in any photograph. - Margaret Bourke-White
Source: Popular Photography, October 2007
Nothing attracts me like a closed door. I cannot let my camera rest until I have pried it open. - Margaret Bourke-White
"Portrait of Myself" "People on People. The Oxford Dictionary of Biographical Quotations", edited by Susan Ratcliffe, Oxford University Press Inc., New York 2001