55 Best Photography Quotes
Whether taking photos is a profession for you, a passion, or something else, this collection of the best photography quotes is meant to do justice to the art form.
To many, photography is about a profession. To others, it’s about a special occasion. There are others who think taking pictures is all about a phone with a camera. Then there are artists!
Photography is one, in fact, one of the most important professions ever. It has touched more people than any other profession ever to be practiced – almost every human being since the invention of the camera has been photographed at least once in their lifetimes.
It has captured the lives and emotions of tens of billions of people throughout its history. Enjoy our collection of the best photography quotes.
Quotes About Photography
1. In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.
2. The eye should learn to listen before it looks.
3. The camera should be used for a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh.
4. It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.
5. Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.
6. A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.
7. You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
8. Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.
Best Photo Quotations
9. There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.
10. Photography is a love affair with life.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
15. What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.
16. Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.
17. A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
18. Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.
David Alan Harvey
19. A photograph is a moral decision taken in one-eighth of a second.
20. In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a Leitmotiv.
Inspirational Photography Quotes
21. A landscape image cuts across all political and national boundaries; it transcends the constraints of language and culture.
22. In photography, there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.
23. Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.
24. A good photograph is knowing where to stand.
25. I began to realize that the camera sees the world differently than the human eye and that sometimes those differences can make a photograph more powerful than what you actually observed.
26. Photography has no rules; it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.
27. Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
28. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is, the instrument.
29. Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.
30. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can and what can’t be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.
31. Photographers mistake the emotion they feel while taking the photo as a judgment that the photograph is good.
32. Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, that’s being a photographer.
Walter De Mulder
33. No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.
34. I can get obsessed by anything if I look at it long enough. That’s the curse of being a photographer.
35. 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.
36. The Earth is Art; The Photographer is only a Witness
37. Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?
38. Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product.
Kodak’s 10 Tips for Great Pictures
1. Look at your subject in the eye.
2. Use a plain background.
3. Use flash outdoors.
4. Move-in close.
5. Move it from the middle.
6. Lock the focus.
7. Know your flash’s range.
8. Watch the light.
9. Take some vertical pictures.
10. Be a picture director.
For a detailed explanation with photos, check out the full article at Kodak on taking great photos.
Short Photography Quotes
39. The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed.
40. Your photography is a record of your living for anyone who really sees.
41. Photography is the art of frozen time… the ability to store emotions and feelings within a frame.
42. 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.
43. Photography helps people to see.
44. The camera cannot lie, but it can be an accessory to untruth.
Taking Pictures Sayings
45. Photographing a culture in the here and now often means photographing the intersection of the present with the past.
46. A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.
47. The two most engaging powers of a photograph are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.
48. One photo out of focus is a mistake, ten photos out of focus are an experimentation, one hundred photos out of focus are a style.
49. Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.
50. People say photographs don’t lie; mine do.
51. If an old man asks a young girl for a date,
That’s his business.
If the young girl accepts,
That’s her business.
If the old man and the girl decide to marry,
That’s their business.
However, if they want great wedding photographs,
THAT’S MY BUSINESS!!!
52. The rarest thing in the world is a woman who is pleased with a photograph of herself.
53. If you saw a man drowning and you could either save him or photograph the event…what kind of film would you use?
54. Everyone has a photographic memory. Some don’t have film.
55. How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? 50. One to change the bulb, and forty-nine to say, I could have done that!
Tip: Some of these best photography quotes make great photo captions themselves.
56. Kodak sells film, but they don’t advertise film; they advertise memories.
57. A camera is a SAVE button for the mind’s eye.
58. Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.
Black and White Photography Quotes
59. When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!
60. I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.
61. Color is everything; black and white are more.
62. Perhaps I am old-fashioned, but black-and-white films still hold an affectionate place in my heart; they have an incomparable mystique and mood.
63. Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.
64. To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.
65. I think it’s because it was an emotional story, and emotions come through much stronger in black and white. Colour is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart.
66. One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but the statement demands certainty… absolute certainty.
67. I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.
Mary Ellen Mark
68. Which is probably the reason why I work exclusively in black and white… to highlight that contrast.
Photography Words of Wisdom
69. Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.
70. It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.
71. 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.
72. Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ‘ah ha.’
73. With photography, I like to create fiction out of reality. I try and do this by taking society’s natural prejudice and giving this a twist.
74. I like to photograph others before they know what their best angles are.
Ellen Von Unwerth
75. The best camera is the one that’s with you.
Photography Quotes for Beginners
76. If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner, it is that there are no shortcuts in photography.
77. If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.
78. Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase.
Percy W. Harris
79. If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.
80. What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.
81. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
Inspiring Photography Quotes
82. 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.
83. A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.
84. A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.
85. Beauty can be seen in all things; seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
86. There is one thing the photo must contain – the humanity of the moment.
87. To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.
Profound Thoughts and Quotes
88. 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.
89. The camera is much more than a recording apparatus; it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.
90. The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.
91. Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
92. Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.
93. Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work. Martin Parr
Art of Photography
94. The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer.
95. Photography is the recording of strangeness and beauty with beguiling precision.”
96. Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.
97. To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.
98. For me, the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.
Photography Quotes for Instagram
99. Photography is the story I fail to put into words.
100. A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.
101. My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.
102. The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer.
103. There’s something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.
104. Today everything exists to end in a photograph.
105. I’ll always be an amateur photographer.
By Mike O’Halloran
Mike is the editor of Greeting Card Poet.
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