“There are two kinds of photographers, the ones who take pictures for a magazine, and the ones who gain something by taking pictures they are interested in. I am the second kind. I don’t believe in this in-between success of becoming famous as quickly as possible. I believe in the end success of a mans work to become a real human being, who obtains the idea of life and it’s connection with earth and cosmos and who is able to understand the mistakes and to admire the achievements of other people… I have always felt better taking a risk rather than an easier route, for what I believe in. I am young enough to do that and I am full of energy and hope to reach my goal. I prefer to be noticed, some day, first for my ideas and second for my eye… I don’t consider myself so important that I say I don’t need the discipline of working for a magazine, that means to photograph co-operatively what they need and what I need. But not only a magazine has a plan, I have one too. And isn’t it also a discipline to resign a good chance just to keep the aim you have in your mind? For me it is always a better feeling to risk something for what I believe in, than to go the more pleasant way. I am young enough to do it and I am filled with energy to see it through. Maybe you think I am not quite on earth with both legs… What I want is to stay free, so that I can carry out my ideas… I don’t think there are many editors who could give me the assignments I give my self.”
Ernst Haas’ letter turning down ‘Life Magazine’s’ offer of employment shortly before joining Magnum.
“Magnum. Fifty years at the front line of history- the story of the legendary photo agency.”
By Russell Miller