10 Inspiring Photography Quotes and their Renowned Authors

As much as we’ve been waiting for winter to come, it seems like the only place where we can experience a decent breeze (or freeze) is on the TV screen. For the majority of us on the northern part of the globe, summer is here, and here to stay. While this time of year provides a lot of opportunities to update your online portfolio with stunning photos, the heat might deter you from snapping those shots.

If you feel like you need a kick in order to click, you’ve reached the right place. To get you motivated, we have gathered some of the most inspiring photography quotes that exist under the (burning) sun. Even more inspiring are the pertaining stories about the quoted photography icons, from Ansel Adams, to Annie Leibovitz and Richard Avedon. The road to greatness starts with a good dose of inspiration. Yours might start right here:

“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.” – Ansel Adams

About the author: One of the most famous photographers of all times, Ansel Adams (1902-1984) is widely known for his striking images of the American wilderness. Being completely self-taught and not fitting within the school system, Adams’ solitary childhood helped develop his passion for landscape photography and environmentalism. Unsurprisingly, as reflected in his quote, he saw the weightiness of the person, over the weight of the gear.

“The photographer is the contemporary being par excellence; through his eyes the now becomes the past.” – Berenice Abbott

About the author: Having returned to New York in early 1929 after several years abroad, Abbott (1898 – 1991) immediately recognized its photographic potential. Her highly noted life-project, Changing New York, has provided a historical chronicle of many now-destroyed buildings and neighborhoods of Manhattan. She believed that a modern-day invention such as the camera deserved to document the 20th century.

“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” – Robert Frank

About the author: As a photographer and documentary filmmaker, storytelling is, without a doubt, Robert Frank’s forte. For his most noted work, Frank (born in 1924 in Switzerland) traveled across the USA for several years, capturing the daily life of all levels of society. The road trip resulted in The Americans, “one of the most influential photography books of the 20th century” (according to The Guardian), that provided a fresh and nuanced outsider’s view of American society. Coincidentally bumping into Robert Frank outside a party and seeing his work, Jack Kerouac immediately decided to contribute to the book’s introduction. A masterpiece that you’ll love to read… and “listen”.

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” – Imogen Cunningham

About the author: Imogen Cunningham (1883 – 1976) is one of the foremost women photographers of the 20th century. Her main love being portraiture, Cunningham mastered very diverse aspects of photography, including the chemical process, botanical photography, nudes, as well as street and industrial landscapes. Her professional career spanned over seven decades, as she continued to take photographs until shortly before her death at the age of 93.

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.” – Yousuf Karsh

About the author: Yousuf Karsh (1908 – 2002) is one of the great portrait photographers of all time. His 1941 portrait of Winston Churchill brought him international prominence and is claimed to be the most reproduced photographic portrait in history. For the record, Yousuf Karsh had only two minutes to snap the scowling Churchill, who was in no mood for being photographed. Many more celebrities of his generation were Karsh’s subjects, among them Muhammad Ali, Humphrey Bogart, Fidel Castro, Alfred Einstein, Ernest Hemingway, Andy Warhol – each one depicted with their part of grandeur and darkness.

“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt

About the author: American photographer and photojournalist, Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898 – 1995) gained fame as a staff photographer for Life Magazine, which featured more than 90 of his pictures on their covers and over 2,500 photo stories published. Eisenstaedt’s most known photo is of an American sailor grabbing and kissing a young woman on Victory over Japan Day in Times Square. Unlike other photojournalists of his time, Eisenstaedt preferred a small handheld Leica, using natural light (as opposed to relying on flash) – this allowed for greater speed and flexibility capturing news in action.

"My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport." - Steve McCurry

About the author: One of the most famous contemporary photojournalists, Steve McCurry (born 1950) is best known for his 1984 photograph Afghan Girl, which originally appeared in National Geographicmagazine. His career launched when, disguised in Afghani garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled areas of Afghanistan, leaving with rolls of film sewn into his clothes. These images were subsequently published by The New York Times and TIME and won him the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad.

"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

About the author: An iconic documentary photographer, Dorothea Lange (1895 – 1965) is best known for her work during the Great Depression, that portrayed its consequences to the world. Lange’s photographs humanized the poor, unemployed and homeless people throughout these hard times and brought their struggle to public attention. Her iconic 1936 photograph, Migrant Mother, became the portrait that defined an era.

“My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.” – Richard Avedon

About the author: Richard Avedon (1923 – 2004) was famous for his work in the fashion world and for his minimalist character-revealing portraits. In his work for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, Avedon showed models full of emotion, smiling, laughing, and many times, in action in outdoor settings which was revolutionary at the time.

“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.” – Annie Leibovitz

About the author: Annie Leibovitz (born 1949) is a renowned American portrait photographer, whose intimate photographs of celebrities helped define the Rolling Stone style. Leibovitz’ intimate photo of John Lennon curled up with Yoko Ono, which she promised them would make the cover, was taken just five hours before John Lennon was killed.

By Julia Ronen

Creative Content Developer for Wix Expert Communities

#Famousphotographers #Inspiration #Quotes

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