80 Beautifully Inspiring Photography Quotes


Being a photographer is a truly worthwhile profession (and spare time activity as well). Think about it, photography allows you to capture a wonderful and magical moment for eternity. What was unthinkable only a couple of hundred years ago is now possible – thanks to the unique invention of photography. Even more so, becoming a photographer helps you in discovering the beauty of everyday life. In short, many of us simply cannot get enough of capturing beautiful images. At the same time, however, quality photography is quite rare. Most people with a camera in their hand falsely assume that it is relatively easy to capture a truly wonderful picture. They think that professional photography doesn’t take much experience and expertise. Even worse, basically anyone with a relatively good camera (or an iPhone) feels like a pro these days. Nothing could be further from the truth. Becoming a professional photographer certainly isn’t easy and takes years – or even decades. To encourage you in your journey of becoming a professional photographer, we’ve created the following collection of beautiful photography quotes. Enjoy!

Many assume that one only needs expensive camera equipment to become a good photographer. This certainly isn’t true but it is a widely held misconception. Instead, it takes years of experience, a good eye for the right perspective, and the knowledge how to properly put all your equipment to work.

“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

The truth of the matter is that photography is a skill/profession that needs to be mastered. Just like basically every other profession or skill, obtaining mastery in the area of photography takes years of dedicated practice. Similarly, it takes the willingness to continuously push yourself to a higher level of expertise.

Photography quotes

Enjoy the following collection of beautiful photography quotes.

The path towards becoming a professional photographer is filled with obstacles and downturns. To encourage you to keep going, we’ve compiled the following list of inspiring photography quotes. These quotes about photography help you to keep fighting for your dream of becoming a photographer.

80 Beautifully Inspiring Photography Quotes

The following quotes stem from some of the most creative, inspiring, and popular photographers in the world. All these people know how much effort and work it takes to become a truly outstanding photographer. Their inspiring statements will definitely motivate you to follow in their footsteps.

Here are these beautiful quotes about photography


“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

Photography quotes


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

Photography quotes


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

Photography quotes


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

Photography quotes


“There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
Martha Graham

Photography quotes


“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


“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


“A photograph shouldn’t be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.”
Amit Kalantri


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


“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”
Émile Zola


“A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.”
George Bernard Shaw


“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


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


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


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


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


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


“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
Thomas Merton


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


“Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.”
Ansel Adams


“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”
Pablo Picasso


“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


“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


“One eye sees, the other feels.”
Paul Klee


“He owned an expensive camera that required thought before you pressed the shutter, and I quickly became his favorite subject, round-faced, missing teeth, my thick bangs in need of a trim. They are still the pictures of myself I like best, for they convey that confidence of youth I no longer possess, especially in front of a camera.”
Jhumpa Lahiri


“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


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


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


“Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference”
Robert Frank


“A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you.”
Brigitte Bardot


“Photographers tend not to photograph what they can’t see, which is the very reason one should try to attempt it. Otherwise, we’re going to go on forever just photographing more faces and more rooms and more places. Photography has to transcend description. It has to go beyond description to bring insight into the subject, or reveal the subject, not as it looks, but how does it feel?”
Duane Michals


“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


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


“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


“Ultimately — or at the limit — in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes. ‘The necessary condition for an image is sight,’Janouch told Kafka; and Kafka smiled and replied: ‘We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.”
Roland Barthes


“The photograph is literally an emanation of the referent. From a real body, which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here; the duration of the transmission is insignificant; the photograph of the missing being, as Sontag says, will touch me like the delayed rays of a star.”
Roland Barthes


“No matter how much crap you gotta plow through to stay alive as a photographer, no matter how many bad assignments, bad days, bad clients, snotty subjects, obnoxious handlers, wigged-out art directors, technical disasters, failures of the mind, body, and will, all the shoulda’s, coulda’s, and woulda’s that befuddle our brains and creep into our dreams, always remember to make room to shoot what you love. It’s the only way to keep your heart beating as a photographer.”
Joe McNally


“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


“Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.”
Clive Barker


“John Loengard, the picture editor at Life, always used to tell me, ‘If you want something to look interesting, don’t light all of it.’„
Joe McNally,


“When we define the Photograph as a motionless image, this does not mean only that the figures it represents do not move; it means that they do not ’emerge’, do not ‘leave’: they are anesthetized and fastened down, like butterflies.”
Roland Barthes


“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.”
Kurt Vonnegut


“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
Vincent Van Gogh


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


“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Pablo Picasso


“Life is not about significant details, illuminated a flash, fixed forever. Photographs are.”
Susan Sontag


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


“I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.”
Nan Goldin


“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso


“In an initial period, Photography, in order to surprise, photographs the notable; but soon, by a familiar reversal, it decrees notable whatever it photographs. The ‘anything whatever’ then becomes the sophisticated acme of value.”
Roland Barthes


“Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.”
Oscar Wilde


“There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”
Vincent Van Gogh


“Photography is a magical kind of art that allows people to preserve time and moments, and to describe the world the way they see it.”
Sahara Sanders


“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”


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


“I know the best moments can never be captured on film, even as I spend nearly half my life trying to do just that.”
Rosie O’Donnell


“The first mistake of art is to assume that it’s serious.”
Lester Bangs


“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
Albert Einstein


“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”
Chuck Klosterman


“A photograph of a woman crying tells me nothing about grief. Or a photograph of a woman ecstatic tells me nothing about ecstasy. What is the nature of these emotions? The problem with photography is that it only deals with appearances.”
Duane Michals


“Art without emotion its like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.”
Laurie Halse Anderson


“An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s.”
J.D. Salinger


“Photography is essentially an act of recognition by street photographers, not an act of invention. Photographers might respond to an old man’s face, or an Arbus freak, or the way light hits a building — and then they move on. Whereas in all the other art forms, take William Blake, everything that came to that paper never existed before. It’s the idea of alchemy, of making something from nothing.”
Duane Michals


“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”


“Photography is all about secrets. The secrets we all have and will never tell.”
Kim Edwards


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


“For me the noise of Time is not sad: I love bells, clocks, watches — and I recall that at first photographic implements were related to techniques of cabinetmaking and the machinery of precision: cameras, in short, were clocks for seeing, and perhaps in me someone very old still hears in the photographic mechanism the living sound of the wood.”
Roland Barthes


“One thing that struck me early is that you don’t put into a photograph what’s going to come out. Or, vice versa, what comes out is not what you put in.”
Diane Arbus


“We are often taught to look for the beauty in all things, so in finding it, the layman asks the philosopher while the philosopher asks the photographer.”
Criss Jami


“I don’t just look at the thing itself or at the reality itself; I look around the edges for those little askew moments –
kind of like what makes up our lives – those slightly awkward, lovely moments.”
Keith Carter


“The power of photography – and its centrality in present aesthetic concerns – is that it confirms both ideas of art. But the way in which photography renders art obsolete is, in the long run, stronger.”
Susan Sontag


“The task of a philosophy of photography is to reflect upon this possibility of freedom – and thus its significance – in a world dominated by apparatuses; to reflect upon the way in which, despite everything, it is possible for human beings to give significance to their lives in the face of the chance necessity of death. Such a philosophy is necessary because it is the only form of revolution left open to us.”
Vilém Flusser


“You only have to start saying something : ‘Ah, how beautiful! We must photograph it!’ and you are already close to the view of the person who thinks that everything that is not photographed is lost, as if it never existed, and therefore in order to really live you must photograph as much as you can, and to photograph as much as you can you must either live in the most photographable way possible, or else consider photographable every moment of your life.”
Italo Calvino


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


“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


“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
Edgar Degas


“It is a cruel, ironical art, photography. The dragging of captured moments into the future; moments that should have been allowed to evaporate into the past; should exist only in memories, glimpsed through the fog of events that came after. Photographs force us to see people before their future weighed them down….”
Kate Morton


“[…] and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”
Vincent Van Gogh


“Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change – it can not only move us, it makes us move.”
Ossie Davis

I hope you enjoyed this collection of photography quotes. What do you think is the most remarkable photo in existence?

Stay victorious!


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