Photography Quotes

Photography Quotes

Here’s a collection of photography quotes that I hope you’ll find inspirational, insightful, and fun. I’ve been a quote collector for years! I’ve finally put together some of my favorites that relate to photography. Enjoy!

© Julie Waterhouse Photography


Photography Quotes About the Joy of Photography

"To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy."
— Henri Cartier-Bresson

"Taking pictures is savouring life intensely, every hundredth of a second."
— Marc Riboud

"Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow."
— Immogen Cunningham


Photography Quotes About the Expression of Self

"A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels."
— Ansel Adams

"If all your life means to you is water running over rocks, then photograph it, but I want to create something that would not have existed without me."
— Minor White

"The photographer projects himself into everything he sees, identifying himself with everything in order to know it and to feel it better."
— Minor White

"We do not make photographs with our cameras. We make them with our minds, with our hearts, with our ideas."
— Arnold Newman

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."
— Ansel Adams

"To make images is a way of ordering one’s world, of exploring and understanding one’s relationship to existence. … The images we make are often ahead of our understanding, but to say "yes" to a subject is also to have recognized, however dimly, a part of oneself; to live with that image, to accept its significance is perhaps to grow in understanding."
— John Blakemore


Photography Quotes About the Impact of Photography

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

"Photography helps people to see."
— Berenice Abbott

"Utter truth is essential, and that is what stirs me when I look through the camera."
— Margaret Bourke-White

"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

"If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it rips out your heart, that’s a good picture."
— Eddie Adams, Pulitzer prize-winning photographer

"Photography was the first available demonstration that light could indeed exert an action sufficient to cause changes in material bodies."
— Fox Talbot

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


Photography Quotes About the Photographer

"Two qualities essential for a great photographer — insatiable curiosity about the world, about people and about life, and a precise sense of form."
— Brassai

"If the photographer is not a discoverer, then he is not an artist."
— Paul Strand


Photography Quotes About the Craft

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

"A good photograph is knowing where to stand."
— Ansel Adams

"My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain."
— Helmut Newton

"Photographers undervalue the use of the wastebasket in their pursuit of fine photography."
— Ralph Steiner

"Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships."

Ansel Adams


Photography Quotes About Seeing the Extra-Ordinary in the Ordinary

"We are not interested in the unusual, but in the usual seen unusually."
— Beaumont Newhall

"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

"The act of making a photograph is less a question of what is being looked at than how."
— Margaret Atwood

"If you do not see what is around you every day, what will you see when you go to Tangiers?"
— Freeman Patterson

"Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual."
— Edward Weston

"A photographer who wants to see, a photographer who wants to make fine images, must recognize the value in the familiar."
— Freeman Patterson

"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


I hope you enjoyed this collection of quotes! Feel free to add your own using the social commenting feature below. Click on "Add a Comment," select Facebook, Yahoo, AOL or hotmail, and enter your quote in the box. Be sure to give it proper attribution.