Photography Quotes

Quotes and aphorisms on photography

Quotes and aphorisms on photography

Photography is always poetic as it reminds us of past situations, emotions, feelings, distress or disappointments far away in time and space; its strength is to revive in our memory a world that no longer exists and therefore necessarily melancholic and evocative, so it is similar to poetry that seeks with words to obtain the same romantic effects on our sterile existence.
Carl William Brown

The image of life is but the negative of that photograph that will only be developed by death.
Carl William Brown

The photographic image… is a message without a code.
Roland Barthes

All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget.
John Berger

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

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

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
Ansel Adams

No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.
Robert Adams

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

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!
Ted Grant

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

Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts.
Minor White

A photograph is usually looked at — seldom looked into.
Ansel Adams

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

The world just does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm camera.
W. Eugene Smith

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

I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.
Author Unknown

A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.
Eudora Welty

The camera can photograph thought.
Dirk Bogarde

I think the best pictures are often on the edges of any situation, I don’t find photographing the situation nearly as interesting as photographing the edges.
William Albert Allard

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

No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.
Edward Steichen

Every time someone tells me how sharp my photos are, I assume that it isn’t a very interesting photograph. If it were, they would have more to say.
Author Unknown

Perishability in a photograph is important in a picture. If a photograph looks perishable we say, “Gee, I’m glad I have that moment.”
John Loengard

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

My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph.
Richard Avedon

I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.
John Steinbeck

The departure of our boys to foreign parts with the ever-present possibility that they might never return, taught the real value of photography to every father and mother. To many a mother the photograph of her boy in his country’s uniform was the one never-failing consolation.
Louis Fabian Bachrach

The goal is not to change your subjects, but for the subject to change the photographer.
Author Unknown

Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don’t be bitter because you can’t record it. Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!
DeGriff

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.
Usman B. Asif

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

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

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

Buying a Nikon doesn’t make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner.
Author Unknown

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

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

I never question what to do, it tells me what to do. The photographs make themselves with my help.
Ruth Bernhard

It pleases me to take amateur photographs of my garden, and it pleases my garden to make my photographs look professional.
Robert Brault

A Ming vase can be well-designed and well-made and is beautiful for that reason alone. I don’t think this can be true for photography. Unless there is something a little incomplete and a little strange, it will simply look like a copy of something pretty. We won’t take an interest in it.
John Loengard

I just think it’s important to be direct and honest with people about why you’re photographing them and what you’re doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul.
Mary Ellen Mark

I’m not a particularly verbose person. I think that’s why I like taking pictures… they speak for themselves.
Jeb Dickerson

Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.
Edward Steichen

The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.
Henri Cartier Bresson

The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box.
Henri Cartier Bresson

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

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

Everyone has a photographic memory, but not everyone has film.
Author Unknown

Photographs that transcend but do not deny their literal situation appeal to me.
Sam Abbel

A picture is worth a thousand words; a slide show is both.
Author Unknown

Photography is a tough life: you can be taken, framed, exposed, shot, captured, and hung all in the same day.
Author Unknown

One photo out of focus is a mistake, ten photo out of focus are an experimentation, one hundred photo out of focus are a style.
Author Unknown

All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this — as in other ways — they are the opposite of paintings. Paintings record what the painter remembers. Because each one of us forgets different things, a photo more than a painting may change its meaning according to who is looking at it.
John Berger

I didn’t want to tell the tree or weed what it was. I wanted it to tell me something and through me express its meaning in nature.
Wynn Bullock

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

The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score, and the print the performance.
Ansel Adams

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

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

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

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

L’immagine della vita non è che il negativo di quella fotografia che verrà sviluppata soltanto dalla morte.
Carl William Brown

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Carl William Brown

In tristitia hilaris, in hilaritate tristis! Carl William Brown is a webmaster, trader, teacher and writer. He founded both Daimon Club and Fortattack.

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