Roy [Stryker] was the one who made me aware of the fact that there is a great deal of significance in small details. He made me aware of the fact that it was important, say, to photograph the corner of a cabin showing an old shoe and a bag of flour; or it was important to get a close-up of a man’s face; and it was important to show a window stuffed with rags. He made me conscious of all these things,…and in the process of doing them I developed a certain sense of design and order and composition…
I always prefer to work in the studio. It isolates people from their environment. They become in a sense …symbolic of themselves. I often feel that people come to me to be photographed as they would go to a doctor or a fortune teller - to find out how they are.
A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he’s being photographed, and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he’s wearing or how he looks. He’s implicated in what’s happened, and he has a certain real power over the result.
— Richard Avedon, 1000 Photo Icons by Anthony Bannon (Foreword), George Eastman House , ISBN: 3822820970 , Page: 712
A portrait photographer depends upon another person to complete his picture. The subject imagined, which in a sense is me, must be discovered in someone else willing to take part in a fiction he cannot possibly know about.