“Purists admonish us to paint “only from life.” Yet the instructional art magazines regularly feature artists whose methods start and end with a photo reference. …Even great masters like Fechin and Zorn clearly used photo references for some of their paintings.
There are a host of good reasons to use photos…. There’s only one really good reason to work from life – it will make us much better artists.” William Schneider OPA.
See the whole article at http://blog.oilpaintersofamerica.com/2012/08/paint-from-life-or-photos/