I started out as a fashion photographer. One cannot say that I was successful but there was enough work to keep me busy. I collaborated with Harper's Bazaar and other magazines. I was constantly aware that those who hired me would have preferred to work with a star such as Avedon. But it didn't matter. I had work and I made a living. At the same time, I took my own photographs. Strangely enough, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I liked.
The birds sang, the proles sang. the Party did not sing. All round the world, in London and New York, in Africa and Brazil, and in the mysterious, forbidden lands beyond the frontiers, in the streets of Paris and Berlin, in the villages of the endless Russian plain, in the bazaars of China and Japan — everywhere stood the same solid unconquerable figure, made monstrous by work and childbearing, toiling from birth to death and still singing.
Photographers should make three or four prints from one negative and then crop them differently. When I was art director at Harper's Bazaar and at several agencies as a consultant, young photographers would bring me their portfolios and all the prints would be in the same standard proportions, either for the Leica or the Rolleiflex. Many times, by limiting themselves in this way, they missed the true potentialities of their photographs.
Never pretend to have money except when you are in straits. The poor man who pretends to have a bank account betters his credit and takes no risk. But the prosperous individual who counts his money in the street, forthwith will be invited to attend a charity bazaar.
Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse.