Inspirational photography quotes from photographers for photographers – 52 PhotoQuotes 2018.
“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.”
“My lens of choice was always the 35 mm. It was more environmental. You can’t come in closer with the 35 mm”.
“The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score, and the print the performance.”
“The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt”.
Julia Margaret Cameron
“When I have had such men before my camera my whole soul has endeavored to do its duty towards them in recording faithfully the greatness of the inner as well as the features of the outer man. The photograph thus taken has been almost the embodiment of a prayer”.
“It matters little how much equipment we use; it matters much that we be masters of all we do use”.
“One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty”.
“Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs”.
Mary Ellen Mark
“I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it”.
“Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world”.
“The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much”.
“I believe in the imagination. What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see”.
William Albert Allard
“Words and pictures can work together to communicate more powerfully than either alone”.
“I don’t like to work with assistants. I’m already one too many; the camera alone would be enough.”
“We all perform. It’s what we do for each other all the time, deliberately or unintionally. It’s a way of telling about ourselves in the hope of being recognized as what we’d like to be.–PERFORMANCE.”
“We must remember that a photograph can hold just as much as we put into it, and no one has ever approached the full possibilities of the medium.”
“The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.”
“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.”
“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”
“You do your work as a photographer and everything becomes past. Words are more like thoughts; the photographer’s picture is always surrounded by a kind of romantic glamour – no matter what you do, and how you twist it.”
”You push the button, we do the rest.”
William Albert Allard
”You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.”
“What the human eye observes causally and incuriously, the eye of the camera notes with relentless fidelity.”
“A mad, keen photographer needs to get out into the world and work and make mistakes.”
“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.”
“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”
“Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things.”
“Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph, is like consulting the laws of gravity before going for a walk.”
“I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do – that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.”
“I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term — meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolor or etching — there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.”
“Photography is a love affair with life.”
“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough – there has to be vision, and the two together can make a good photograph.”
“There is a brief moment when all there is in a man’s mind and soul and spirit is reflected through his eyes, his hands, his attitude. This is the moment to record.”
“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”
“It’s about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception. You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.”
“There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own.”
“The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.”
“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.”
“Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”
“Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment – this very moment – to stay.”
“However, I think that the photographer must completely control his picture and bring to it all his personality, and in this area most photographs never transcend being just snapshots. When a great photographer does infuse the snapshot with his personality and vision, it can be transformed into something truly moving and beautiful.”
“Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can.”
“For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.”
“Never boss people around. It’s more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
“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.”
“But the very question of whether photography is or is not an art is essentially a misleading one. Although photography generates works that can be called art –it requires subjectivity, it can lie, it gives aesthetic pleasure– photography is not, to begin with, an art form at all. Like language, it is a medium in which works of art (among other things) are made. Out of language, one can make scientific discourse, bureaucratic memoranda, love letters, grocery lists, and Balzac’s Paris. Out of photography, one can make passport pictures, weather photographs, pornographic pictures, X-rays, wedding pictures, and Atget’s Paris. Photography is not an art like, say, painting and poetry. Although the activities of some photographers conform to the traditional notion of a fine art, the activity of exceptionally talented individuals producing discrete objects that have value in themselves, form the beginning photography has also lent itself to that notion of art which says that art is obsolete. 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.”
“Millions of men have lived to fight, build palaces and boundaries, shape destinies and societies; but the compelling force of all times has been the force of originality and creation profoundly affecting the roots of human spirit.”
“Sometimes they are a matter of luck; the photographer could not expect or hope for them. Sometimes they are a matter of patience, waiting for an effect to be repeated that he has seen and lost or for one that he anticipates.”
“The photographic image… is a message without a code.”
“I was scared to do anything in the studio because it felt so claustrophobic. I wanted to be somewhere where things could happen and the subject wasn’t just looking back at you.”
“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.”
“To take photographs means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second – both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis.”