Bonnard used to say “what are you after?.. why this instant?.. why press the shutter just then?”
I just answered “why did you just put this stub of yellow?”
He laughed. We knew sensibility cannot be explained.
The Curies had a sign in their door: “Enter without ringing”
I opened the door and this is what I saw. I shot before greeting them.
I am not into photography per se. I enjoy being there, recording… there, yes, yes.. no.. yes… finger on the shutter, hesitating… not shooting, but always there.
We steal, but in order to give.
I never look for the historic shot.. It comes to me… You have to be there and grab it.
Be there. Don’t think. Forget yourself. Don’t search. […]
Don’t go after something. Let it come to you.
Be open, receptive. That’s why you must not think.
I once took photos of Mauriac. He said to me: “what should I do?”
Nothing.. nothing! Just be natural…
So, he said: “You’re really complicated.”
words & photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson