Saul Leiter Quotes

  1. What makes anyone think that I’m any good?
  2. I am not immersed in self-admiration.
  3. I may be old-fashioned. But I believe there is such a thing as a search for beauty – a delight in the nice things in the world. And I don’t think one should have to apologise for it.
  4. I have been told that some of my photographs maybe indicate that I am a painter.
  5. A window covered with raindrops interests me more than a photograph of a famous person.
  6. Photography is about finding things. And painting is different – it’s about making something.
  7. I like it when one is not certain what one sees. When we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture and when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion.
  8. In order to build a career and to be successful, one has to be determined. One has to be ambitious. I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music, and to paint when I feel like it.
  9. There are the things that are out in the open, and there are the things that are hidden. The real world has more to do with what is hidden.
  10. Sometimes I’m amazed by how much you can do as a photographer.
  11. My family was very unhappy about my becoming a photographer – profoundly and deeply unhappy.
  12. I’ve never been overwhelmed with a desire to become famous. It’s not that I didn’t want to have my work appreciated, but for some reason – maybe it’s because my father disapproved of almost everything I did – in some secret place in my being was a desire to avoid success.
  13. When I am listening to Vivaldi or Japanese music or making spaghetti at 3 in the morning and realize that I don’t have the proper sauce for it, fame is of no use.
  14. My brothers were rabbis. My grandfather was a rabbi.
  15. I like the Zen artists: they’d do some work, and then they’d stop for a while.
  16. I’m sometimes mystified by people who keep diaries. I never thought of my existence as being that important.
  17. I spent a great deal of my life being ignored. I was always very happy that way.
  18. My father thought photography was done by lowlifes.
  19. Being ignored is a great privilege. That is how I think I learned to see what others do not see and to react to situations differently. I simply looked at the world, not really prepared for anything.

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