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[1948] American documentary photographer
Finding a photograph is often like picking up a piece from a jigsaw-puzzle box with the cover missing. There’s no sense of the whole. Each image is a mysterious part of something not yet revealed. - Susan Meiselas

So the problem for the photographer remains: how to create images and a sequence that's sustaining and engaging, but asks people to wait, to not think they know, but to be suspended and uncertain along with those pictured whose lives are unpredictable and unraveling. - Susan Meiselas

The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don't belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation. - Susan Meiselas

For me the essence of documentary photography has always had to do with evidence… - Susan Meiselas - Photography Masterclass: Creative Techniques of 100 Great Photographers [Paul Lowe] foreword by Simon Norfolk

You look at photographs that freeze time, but then time moves. - Susan Meiselas

If Instagram had been available when I was working in Nicaragua in 1978, I’m sure I would have wanted to use it as a way of reporting directly from the streets during the insurrection. - Susan Meiselas

For a long time I’ve lived with the inadequacy of that frame to tell everything I knew, and I think a lot about what is outside of the frame... - Susan Meiselas

It’s difficult now to feel that I can’t make an image to bring the devastation of the war with the contras home, even though I feel a tremendous urgency all the time to do so... It’s not that there haven’t been images made, but the larger sense of an “image” has been defined elsewhere—in Washington, and in the press, by the powers that be. I can’t, we can’t, somehow, reframe it. - Susan Meiselas

I don’t know what I’m going to come back with. I don’t go with a checklist. Many times I don’t go on assignment. I just go because I feel like whatever it is that’s happening in that particular place is important. It’s about being a witness to it—documenting it and recording it. In the places I’ve chosen to be, over time it becomes more obvious which of those moments are critical. - Susan Meiselas

Looking at contact sheets, it’s a great set of footprints. Either you got it or you didn’t. You could have gotten it, you should’ve moved. I think you’re plagued with that and then suddenly you find a frame and it just seems to be there, it just seems to know itself and sort of reveal itself. That’s the harmony. - Susan Meiselas

We know photographers make frames, but we deeply believe they can also create frameworks. - Susan Meiselas

Finding a photograph is often like picking up a piece from a jigsaw-puzzle box with the cover missing. There’s no sense of the whole. Each image is a mysterious part of something not yet revealed. - Susan Meiselas

I see myself in the tradition of encounter and witness—a “witness” that sees the photograph as evidence. - Susan Meiselas

Dig in, follow your instincts and trust your curiosity. - Susan Meiselas

I’m deeply interested in the photograph as a record of an encounter and enjoy putting myself in a timeline of image-makers, alongside other travelers, such as anthropologists, colonists, missionaries, even tourists. I do that to emphasize subjectivity, rather than privilege any single perspective—I see myself as only one of many storytellers. - Susan Meiselas

It’s a strange experience… the photograph is like an object frozen in time, and people’s lives go on. - Susan Meiselas

What worries me is that we want to close down our relationship to the world at large. In other words, people’s instincts are overwhelmed by the amount of images, or they can't distinguish anymore between Rwanda or Bosnia or Somalia. - Susan Meiselas

What I’ve learned over fifteen years of working in the field is how to create opportunities out of accidents. I’ve learned not to be too fixed on what I was supposed to do, to be flexible, and to perceive moments. Sometimes things don’t fall into place as you had hoped, and you can stay fixed to one idea or you can see something else that might lead you a little bit off the path. - Susan Meiselas

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