100+ Photography Quotes to Boost Your Inspiration



They say that to become the best, you should learn from the best. As photographers, we usually believe that the best way to learn from our peers is to spend countless hours studying their work - whether it is in books and art galleries or on their photography website.


But as many words as an image can convey, sometimes you need an actual quote to learn what exactly inspired them to capture those outstanding pictures. These photography quotes will offer you a glimpse into the mind of some of the most brilliant artists in the field, and inspire you to follow in their steps.


Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.


- Henri Cartier-Bresson -


The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score and the print the performance.


- Ansel Adams -


A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.


- Edward Steichen -


In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.


- Alfred Stieglitz -


If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.


- Robert Capa -


There is one thing the photograph must contain – the humanity of the moment.


- Robert Frank -


When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.


- Ansel Adams -


Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.


- Aaron Siskind -


It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.


- Paul Caponigro -


Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.


- Marc Riboud -



The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.


- Andy Warhol -


To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.


- Elliott Erwitt -


Photography is truth.


- Jean-Luc Godard -


There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.


- Ansel Adams -


Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.


- Don McCullin -


What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.


- Karl Lagerfeld -


A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.


- Irving Penn -


Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.


- Yousuf Karsh -


All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.


- Richard Avedon -


Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.


- Tony Benn -



I think good dreaming is what leads to good photographs.


- Wayne Miller -


When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.


- Alfred Eisenstaedt -


It’s weird that photographers spend years or even a whole lifetime, trying to capture moments that added together, don’t even amount to a couple of hours.


- James Lalropui Keivom -


Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.


- Dorothea Lange -


I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed.


- Annie Leibovitz -


Photography helps people to see.


- Berenice Abbott -


When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls!


- Ted Grant -


If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.


- Jay Maisel -


There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don’t be bitter because you can’t record it. Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!


- DeGriff -


Only photograph what you love.


- Tim Walker -



I fell in love with the process of taking pictures, with wandering around finding things. To me it feels like a kind of performance. The picture is a document of that performance.


- Alec Soth -


Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.


- David Alan Harvey -


Quit trying to find beautiful objects to photograph. Find the ordinary objects so you can transform it by photographing it.


- Morley Baer -


If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.


- Eve Arnold -


You just have to live and life will give you pictures.


- Henri Cartier Bresson -


One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind.


- Dorothea Lange -


Anyone can shoot chaos. But the most perceptive photographers can make compelling pictures out of uninteresting moments.


- Alex Tehrani -


Photography is a language more universal than words.


- Minor White -


It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.


- David Bailey -


Photography can light up darkness and expose ignorance.


- Lewis Hine -



What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.


- John Berger -


Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.


- Bill Brandt -


We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.


- Ralph Hattersley -


I love photographing. It’s that simple.


- Stuart Franklin -


The pictures are there, and you just take them.


- Robert Capa -


The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.


- Annie Leibovitz -


You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.


- Joan Miro -


Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.


- Sally Mann -


When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.


- Wynn Bullock -



Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.


- George Eastman -


We don’t learn from our good images; we learn from the ones that can be improved on.


- Jen Rozenbaum -


Photography is not about cameras, gadgets and gizmos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn’t make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel.


- Peter Adams -


The more pictures you see, the better you are as a photographer.


- Robert Mapplethorpe -


You cannot possibly hit the shutter without leaving a piece of you in the image.


- Joe Buissink -


Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.


- Martin Parr -


You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.


- William Albert Allard -


Photography has nothing to do with cameras.


- Lucas Gentry -


Fear is the thing that prohibits a lot of photographers from reaching their full potential.


- Collin Pierson -


Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase.


- Percy W. Harris -


Photography is like a moment, an instant. You need a half-second to get the photo. So it’s good to capture people when they are themselves.


- Patrick Demarchelier -



For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.


- Henri Cartier-Bresson -


Photography is a love affair with life.


- Burk Uzzle -


Photography is the beauty of life captured.


- Tara Chisolm -


When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.


- Robert Frank -


I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.


- Leon Levinstein -


The camera has always been a guide, and it's allowed me to see things and focus on things that maybe an average person wouldn't even notice.


- Don Chadwick -


You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.


- Ansel Adams -


Seeing is not enough; you have to feel what you photograph.


- Andre Kertesz -


There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.


- Ernst Haas -


One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and on. It’s on all the time.


- Annie Leibovitz -



Photography is an itch that won't go away. No matter how much you scratch it.


- Dara McGrath -


Whosoever possesses a camera should never know boredom.


- Wayne Gerard Trotman -


Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.


- Walker Evans -


When I make a photograph I feel that I hold a piece of the universe in my hands.


- Paul Chaplo -


Regarding the creative: never assume you're the master, only the student. Your audience will determine if you're masterful.


- Don Roff -


A photograph is usually looked at - seldom looked into.


- Ansel Adams -


I take the same picture twice, First with my heart then camera.


- Biju Karakkonam -


The two most engaging powers of a photograph are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.


- William Thackeray -


Taking a picture is like giving a piece of your soul away. You allow other people to see the world through your eyes.


- Katja Michael -



A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.


- E. Welty -


The earth is art, the photographer is only a witness.


- Yann Arthus-Bertrand -


My pictures are about making people realize we've got to protect those who can't speak for themselves.


- Michael "Nick" Nichols -


There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.


- Ansel Adams -


A landscape image cuts across all political and national boundaries; it transcends the constraints of language and culture.


- Charlie Waite -


To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.


- Henri Cartier-Bresson -


The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years,regardless of the number of times they are viewed.


- Anne Geddes -


To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.


- Edward Weston -



All the planning, intuition, technical prowess, and knowledge, as well as the trust and rapport you have (or haven’t) established, will show up in the picture, frozen forever.


- Gregory Heisler -


Without vision, the photographer perishes.


- David duChemin -


All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.


- Susan Sontag -


Photography is all about secrets. The secrets we all have and will never tell.


- Kim Edwards -


A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.


- Brigitte Bardot -


No, you don’t shoot things. You capture them. Photography means painting with light. And that’s what you do. You paint a picture only by adding light to the things you see.


- Katja Michael -




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By Judit Ruiz Ricart

Editor of the Wix Photography Blog



#photographyquotes #inspiration #famousphotographers

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