I learned from Aesthetic Realism a mighty idea, new in the understanding of life and art: The more we want to be affected by people and things, that is, to yield to their meaning, and see this as the same as asserting ourselves, the bigger our emotions will be, and the art we are all capable of will be encouraged.
This desire—to express ourselves through trying to be fair to what is not ourselves—can be found in a statement of Julia Margaret Cameron, important photographer in the England of Queen Victoria. She wrote passionately of the famous literary figures and artists who sat for her:
When I have had such men before my camera my whole soul has endeavoured to do its duty towards them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man.
Like every good portrait photographer, she wanted to use surface—“the features of the outer man”—to show their depths. And with the humility and pride of a true artist, she felt it was both an honor and an obligation to try to be fair to those depths.
[from Photography, Life, and the Opposites]