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SAM HASKINS


[b. 1926] Famous for: Nudes, pre-Photoshop photo-montage (photo illustration)

So now almost everyone owns a camera. Yet, of all the commonplace tools available to us, the SLR camera is propably the least understood and certainly the most under-exploited. All too frequently the average amateur will purchase a fine modern camera and proceed to use it for making the most elementary simple snapshots. This surely is like playing 'Chopsticks' on a concert grand piano. - Sam Haskins

I think of myself as a designer who uses the photographic medium and I consider the female nude figure to be a design element, capable of endless permutations. It is obviously an element loaded with emotional associations. Those who claim that images of the nude can be completely devoid of any sexual connotations are just being dishonest. - Sam Haskins, Views on nudes by Bill Jay , ISBN: 0240507312 , Page: 111
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A model can only be successfully directed by talking her into a mood or attitude. The moment you physically place a limb into position you may as well be photographing a shop dummy. - Sam Haskins, Views on nudes by Bill Jay , ISBN: 0240507312 , Page: 145
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I find it difficult to do creative photography with a really beautiful girl. Slight face and figure faults make me work just that little harder and keep me on my toes. … The more unskilled a model is and the more face and figure faults she has – the harder you have to work and the better the pictures seem to be. - Sam Haskins, Views on nudes by Bill Jay , ISBN: 0240507312 , Page: 142
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The most significant trends on the creative side of photography seem to be the idea of making a statement with a collection of pictures rather than a single print. This has tremendous potential in the field of photo reportage. If only some of those journalists would take a pause from chasing wars long enough to edit and design their own collections. The system of handing negatives and prints to picture editors or art directors is a very weak one – something like a musician handing a collection of musical phrases to someone else and asking him to compose a symphony with it. - Sam Haskins, Views on nudes by Bill Jay , ISBN: 0240507312 , Page: 42
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What some highbrows call rapport is nothing more than a mild flirtation between photographer and the girl on the other side of the camera. Some models get so professional they can send hours flirting with the camera itself while the poor photographer is reduced to the role of spectator. - Sam Haskins - [cited in: Creative Camera March 1968, p. 88]

A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said 'I love your pictures - they're wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.' He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: 'That was a wonderful dinner; you must hava a terrific stove.' - Sam Haskins

Artists don't owe the world anything, least of all explanations. - Sam Haskins
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I think it very important never to confuse psychology or literature with photography. This is why I wouldn’t dream of trying to explain my work. Thus my pictures are quite simple: me, thinking in images. - Sam Haskins - "Four Masters of Erotic Photography", Photographic Exhibition Catalogue [the Exhibition was shown at Photokina, Cologne in 1970]

I always insist that art is not a competition. Critics and curators miss the fact that valid work takes place across a wide spectrum - they are in love with the mode du jour and they cannot see that there are many valid concurrent modes of thinking among artists. - Sam Haskins - Noted in conversation with Sam while working on 'Fashion Etcetera' a few months before Sam's death.

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