Photography Quotes

Photo by Johannes Plenio, Unsplash license

Photographers can find inspiration in many different forms and from countless different places. Landscape and nature photographers tend to be inspired by the natural world around us, but quotes can also provide excellent inspiration, even if it is an entirely different type of inspiration.

There are plenty of insightful, motivational, and witty quotes on the subject of photography, and in this article we’ll take a look at 65 that you may find interesting. Most of these quotes come from photographers, and many of the names, like Ansel Adams, you’ll recognize.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
― Ansel Adams

“I tend to think of the act of photographing, generally speaking, as an adventure. My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”
― Diane Arbus

“Actually, it’s nature itself that creates the most beautiful pictures, I’m only choosing the perspective.”
― Katja Michael

“It is through living that we discover ourselves, at the same time as we discover the world around us.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

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

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“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
― Dorothea Lange

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.”
― Ansel Adams

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

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.”
― Ansel Adams

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

“For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.”
― Diane Arbus

“A photograph is an opportunity to keep a moment forever.”
― Destin Sparks

“To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

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“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
― Ansel Adams

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud

“I guess I’ve shot about 40,000 negatives and of these I have about 800 pictures I like.”
– Harry Callahan

“To me, it is better to ‘guess’ at how something works, experiment, fail, guess again, fail, and keep repeating that process over and over again until you either figure it out or you discover a multiplicity of other cool tricks along the way.”
– Trey Ratcliff

“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

“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

“The earth is art, the photographer is only a witness.”
― Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Earth from Above

“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

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

“To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’ I respond, There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.”
― Ansel Adams

“Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.”
– Ambrose Bierce

“All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.”
― Elliott Erwitt

“For a Photographer – Having an observant mind is more important than having an expensive camera.”
― Sukant Ratnakar

“The best camera is the one that’s with you.”
– Chase Jarvis

“Photography is inspired by beauty, captured with passion.”
― Destin Sparks

“What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer. ”
― William Albert Allard

“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

“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.”
― Ansel Adams

“Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.”
– Man Ray

“Only a photographer can stop the time. Just by one click.”
― Biju Karakkonam

“I have a dream… photography allows me to share it with you.”
― Destin Sparks

“There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.”
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Photographs allow for connections to be made and for time to pause to appreciate all the world has to offer.”
― Dustin Thibideau

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

“Allow yourself the freedom to step away from perfection because it is only then that you can find success.”
– Chase Jarvis

“A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart.”
– Arnold Newman

“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
― Henri Cartier-Bresson

“The thing I love about photography is that for just a moment, you can make everyone else look at the world the way you see it.”
― Amy Spalding

“A photograph is usually looked at- seldom looked into.”
― Ansel Adams

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.”
― Diane Arbus

“Art is what we call…the thing an artist does. It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human. Art is not in the …eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.”
― Seth Godin

“The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.”
― Susan Sontag

“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
― Ansel Adams

“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

“The beauty of Photography is not in what you see, its art lies in your dreams.”
― Biju Karakkonam

“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

“Photography is what emotions look like.”
― Jon Luvelli

“A camera is just a medium to capture what you have in your vision, and vision is something that cannot be bought.”
― Neeraj Agnihotri

“If you can see it, you can shoot it.”
― Ted Grant

“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is thereby a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.”
― Ansel Adams

“While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.”
― Dorothea Lange

“The best photographers do not need 50000 dollars worth of gear. Look what Ansel Adams did with a Kodak brownie camera. A good photographer has a way of seeing (perspective) that is different from the mundane.”
― David Hultgren

“Me and my Photographs are a bit romantic. I do not take photographs in a normal light. Either at sunrise, or sundown, or early in the morning. Besides I want to explain something in every frame. Every image has to have a message.”
― Ara Güler

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
― E. Welty

“Photographs are like diamonds. Polish them well to make them priceless.”
― Sukant Ratnakar

“In photography and as in life, it is the strong contrasts between dualities that make things interesting and beautiful…particularly speaking, darkness has to exist and be present in order for light to glow, and have meaning and purpose.”
― Bodhi Smith

“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 you really want to become a better photographer don’t save other photographers good photographs to your computer. Save it to your heart, then you can take better picture than that picture in similar situations.”
― Biju Karakkonam

“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”
― Susan Sontag

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
– Ansel Adams

“Don’t pack up your camera until you’ve left the location.”
― Joe McNally

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