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Photography Quotes

Whether taking photos is a profession for you, a passion, or something else, this collection of our best photography quotes is meant to do justice to the art form.

Taking great photos is where opportunity meets artistry.

Enjoy our collection of the best photography quotes.

Best Photography Quotes.

Quotes About Photography

1. In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.
Alfred Stieglitz

2. The eye should learn to listen before it looks.
Robert Frank

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.
Edward Weston

4. It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.
Paul Strand

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

6. A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.
Dorothea Lange

7. You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

8. Photography is an immediate reaction, and drawing is a meditation.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Best Photo Quotations

9. There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.
Abraham Lincoln

10. Photography is a love affair with life.
Burk Uzzle

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.
Don McCullin

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

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.
Robert Frank

55 photography quotes.

Good Sayings

14. Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Ansel Adams

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

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

17. A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.
Eudora Welty

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.
Salman Rushdie

20. In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a Leitmotiv.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Inspirational Photography Quotes

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

22. In photography, there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.
August Sander

23. Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.
Alfred Stieglitz

24. A good photograph is knowing where to stand.
Ansel Adams

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.
Galen Rowell

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

27. Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Photographer Quotations

28. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is, the instrument.
Eve Arnold

29. Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.
Ansel Adams

30. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can and what can’t be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.
Eliot Porter

31. Photographers mistake the emotion they feel while taking the photo as a judgment that the photograph is good.
Garry Winogrand

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.
Edward Steichen

34. I can get obsessed by anything if I look at it long enough. That’s the curse of being a photographer.
Irving Penn

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.
David Bailey

36. The Earth is Art; The Photographer is only a Witness
Yann Arthus-Bertrand

37. Who sees the human face correctly: the photographer, the mirror, or the painter?
Pablo Picasso

38. Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product.
Edward Steichen

Short Best 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.
Anne Geddes

40. Your photography is a record of your living for anyone who really sees.
Paul Strand

41. Photography is the art of frozen time… the ability to store emotions and feelings within a frame.

42. You don’t take 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

43. Photography helps people to see.
Berenice Abbott

44. The camera cannot lie, but it can be an accessory to untruth.
Harold Evans

Taking Pictures Sayings

45. Photographing a culture in the here and now often means photographing the intersection of the present with the past.
David DuChemin

46. A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.
Ansel Adams

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

48. One photo out of focus is a mistake, ten photos out of focus are an experimentation, and 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.
Imogen Cunningham

Funny Photography Quotes

50. People say photographs don’t lie; mine do.
David LaChapelle

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,

52. The rarest thing in the world is a woman who is pleased with a photograph of herself.
Elizabeth Metcalf

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.
Stephen Wright

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.

Bonus Quotes

56. Kodak sells film, but they don’t advertise film; they advertise memories.
Theodore Levitt

57. A camera is a SAVE button for the mind’s eye.
Roger Kingston

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

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!
Ted Grant

60. I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.
Henri Mattise

61. Color is everything; black and white are more.
Dominic Rouse

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.
Robert Frank

64. To see in color is a delight for the eye but to see in black and white is a delight for the soul.
Andri Cauldwell

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.
Kim Hunter

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.
Paul Outerbridge

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.
Leonard Nimoy

Photography Words of Wisdom

69. Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.
Diane Arbus

70. It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.
Alfred Eisenstaedt

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.
Eve Arnold

72. Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ‘ah ha.’
Ernst Haas

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.
Martin Parr

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.
Chase Jarvis

Photography Quotes for Beginners

76. If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner, it is that there are no shortcuts in photography.
Edward Weston

77. If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.
Robert Capa

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.
Jim Richardson

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

81. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
Richard Avedon

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.
Irving Penn

83. A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.
Diane Arbus

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

85. Beauty can be seen in all things; seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
Matt Hardy

86. There is one thing the photo must contain – the humanity of the moment.
Robert Frank

87. To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place.
Eliott Erwitt

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.
Paul Caponigro

89. The camera is much more than a recording apparatus; it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.
Orson Welles

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.
Susan Meiselas

91. Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.
Ambrose Bierce

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.
Tony Benn

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.
Steven Pinker

95. Photography is the recording of strangeness and beauty with beguiling precision.”
Sebastian Smee

96. Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.
Peter Adams

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.
Edward Weston

98. For me, the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.
Mark Denman

Photography Quotes for Instagram

99. Photography is the story I fail to put into words.
Destin Sparks

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

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

102. The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer.
Gordon Parks

103. There’s something strange and powerful about black-and-white imagery.
Stefan Kanfer

104. Today, everything exists to end in a photograph.
Susan Sontag

105. I’ll always be an amateur photographer.
Elliott Erwitt

106.) Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.
Aaron Siskind

107.) If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.
Lewis Hine

108.) Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur.
Alfred Eisenstaedt

109.) Only photograph what you love.
Tim Walker

Good Photography Quotes

110.) We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.
Ralph Hattersley

111.) Don’t pack up your camera until you’ve left the location.
Joe McNally

112.) In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people.
James Wilson

113.) Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.
Sally Mann

114.) The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.
Susan Sontag

115.) The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.
Elliott Erwitt

116.) Photography is a small voice at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.
W Eugene Smith

117.) The biggest cliche in photography is sunrise and sunset.
Catherine Opie

118.) Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.
Duane Michals

By Michael O’Halloran

About Michael O'Halloran

Michael O’Halloran founded Greeting Card Poet in 2014 and has worked as its publisher and editor ever since. He has co-authored four books on kids’ trivia and authored four books on coaching. Previously, Michael was the president of Magnetic Poetry. He has invented and brought over 75 new gift and toy products to market, most dealing with wordplay. Mike is married and a father of four daughters.


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