70 Inspirational Quotes About Photography

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But I wonder, what else do “they” say? In order to find out I’ve culled together the best quotes on the subject of photography.

I hope they inspire you.

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

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

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

There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. Robert Frank

Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is. Anonymous

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

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

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

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You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it. Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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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 picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality. Scott Lorenzo

If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer. Eve Arnold

A tear contains an ocean. A photographer is aware of the tiny moments in a persons life that reveal greater truths. Anonymous

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

Essentially what photography is is life lit up. Sam Abell

I don’t trust words. I trust pictures. Gilles Peress

I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them. Diane Arbus

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

Once you learn to care, you can record images with your mind or on film. There is no difference between the two. Anonymous

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

Photography is truth. Jean-Luc Godard

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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

If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment. Linda McCartney

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting 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

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

When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes. Anonymous

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

I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse. Diane Arbus

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

Today everything exists to end in a photograph. Susan Sontag

I think good dreaming is what leads to good photographs. Wayne Miller

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I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them. Bruce Gilden

If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff. Jim Richardson

When I say I want to photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph. Annie Leibovitz

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

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

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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

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

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

I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are. Ellen Von Unwerth

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

Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot. Unknown

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Only photograph what you love. Tim Walker

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

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

Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness. Yousuf Karsh

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

Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease. Anonymous

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. Imogen Cunningham

About The Author

Tammy Jean Lamoureux is a photographer, artist & gypsy located in Brooklyn, NY & Boston, MA. You can see more of her on her website. This article was originally published here.

  • Johan K

    If words could describe a moment as concisely and eloquently as a well composed photo, I would need to carry only a pen. – Johan K.

  • http://wilcfry.com/ Wil Fry

    What I found interesting (besides the awesome quotes themselves) is how the words give away what type of photographer each person is (I haven’t heard of most of them). I also like that even the ones I disagree with are at least food for thought, or force me to provide a reason for disagreeing. Thanks for posting this. :-)

  • OsFa Urbex

    “if you can’t focus you’re too close”
    Thomas Leuthard

    • Matthew Wagg

      “If your photos aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”
      Robert Capa

  • http://andrewmohebbi.com/ Andrew Mohebbi

    I’m new to “serious” photography. Thank you for sharing these inspiring quotes.

    For better or worse, I have that feeling of fearlessness when I have a camera in my hands. We’ll see where that takes me.

    And I’d bump that 10,000 photos to 100,000 with digital photography! :)