I don't like gimmicky pictures; I've always hated them. I like pictures that are very clear and clean, whether you're a great street photographer - somebody like Friedlander or Winogrand or Cartier-Bresson - or whether you're a portraitist, like Irving Penn.
In every successful still photographic project that I have completed, there has always been a turning point in the story where I felt that perhaps I was working on something that could be very special.
I just think it's important to be direct and honest with people about why you're photographing them and what you're doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul.
I really knew when I started photographing I wanted it to be a way of knowing different cultures, not just in other countries but in this country, too, and I knew I wanted to be a voyeur.
When you're working on a film, it's almost like photographing paintings at a museum. You're photographing somebody else's world. I just try and interpret it and make it real, and make it what the actors are about, what the director is about, and what the film is about.
I remember the first time I went out on the street to shoot pictures. I was in downtown Philadelphia, and I just took a walk and started making contact with people and photographing them, and I thought, 'I love this. This is what I want to do forever.' There was never another question.
As a kid, I used to dream about airplanes before I ever flew in one. I really knew, when I started photographing, I wanted it to be a way of knowing different cultures, not just in other countries but in this country, too, and I knew I wanted to enter other lives. I knew I wanted to be a voyeur.
I'm staying with film, and with silver prints, and no Photoshop. That's the way I learned photography: You make your picture in the camera. Now, so much is made in the computer... I'm not anti-digital; I just think, for me, film works better.
Nowadays shots are created in post-production, on computers. It's not really photography.
I was thinking about how fleeting and precious life is. Life is also arbitrary. For example, the choices that you make, the luck of being born into the right bed, to parents who support and help you and who love you. That doesn't always happen - and then, what happens when it doesn't?
I was fascinated by my own prom pictures.
I think the prom is very serious also. It's an American ritual, it's a rite of passage, and it's very much a part of this country.
Looking at my own prom photograph reminds me of how significant that moment was - and how fleeting life is.
During prom season, I travel around the country with a 20-by-24 camera - which is logistically complicated - and photograph proms. My husband made a film of it.
I don't relax. I can't take vacations. I'm obsessive-compulsive, and I worry with every project that I'm going to fail. When it starts to go well, and I sense that something beautiful and important and meaningful is being created, it's a fantastic feeling, and I find it very hard to stop.
I'm a street photographer, but I'm interested in any ironic, whimsical images, and there's something very romantic about a circus.