With 175 + photography quotes to choose from you’re sure to find the perfect quote on photography for your social post on Instagram or Facebook.  Or perhaps it is inspiration that you seek to bring back that spark and creativity to your work.  Ever head out on a shoot with your camera at the ready and find that inspiration fails you? We’ve all been there, it almost feels like whatever creative photography idea you might have thought you had has all been done before. It’s the photography equivalent of writer’s block. Well, I’ve got some photography quotes here to help.

Sometimes, all it takes to discover a new perspective on your photography is to take a break, read up on some quotes on photography, and then come back to things better than ever before. 

Be Inspired

I’m certain this post will act as a source of inspiration for you whenever you feel creatively drained with your photography. I combed the Internet to collect more than 175 quotes about pictures, quotes from photographers, quotes on photography and everything in between, these great sayings run the gamut. Some are funny, others serious, but all inspiring photography quotes that you can use on Instagram and Facebook to highlight your own work.  Just remember to credit the author.

Keep this list of photography quotes handy for when you find yourself in a rut and need a little pick-me-up as we all do from time to time. 

Photography Quotes-First 1000 are your worst


Quotes on Photography

I’ll start this section with a photography quote that I just made up while shooting from my kayak this Summer.  I could see the lily pads in the marsh moving, I mean really moving, and there were bubbles surfacing so there was clearly something large making it’s way through the marsh.

I followed along quietly and all of a sudden this massive snapping turtle head covered in algae pops up for about two seconds and then back down it went.  I did not capture that image and I was kicking myself and thinking, well that moment isn’t ever going to happen again and I missed it.

Moments like that make me think about what I could have done differently so I capture the image next time.  They also inspire quotes about photography and mine born from that moment is below.

“The image you miss today is the learning for tomorrow” – Bill Maynard

“Only photograph what you love.” – Tim Walker 

“The golden rule in the arts, as far as I am concerned, is that all rules are meant to be broken.” – Michael Kenna 

“Sometimes one waits too long for the perfect moment before snapping the picture. You never realize that you needed was to change perspective.” – Miguel Syjuco 

“Your inspiration is better if it comes from many different sources and your sensibilities will transform all those influences and inspiration into your own visual world. It’s like reading a book instead of watching the movie.” – Peter Lindbergh 

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

“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” – Ansel Adams 

“Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.” – Bill Brandt 

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

“Once the amateur’s naïve approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt 

Photography Quote David Allen Harvey


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

“With photography a new language has been created. Now for the first time it is possible to express reality by reality. We can look at an impression as long as we wish, we can delve into it and, so to speak, renew past experiences at will.” – Ernst Haas

“The cliché comes not in what you shoot but in how you shoot it.” – David duChemin 

“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 

“Photography is a major force in explaining man to man.” – Edward Steichen

“Photography helps people to see.” – Berenice Abbott

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange

“Photography is an itch that won’t go away. No matter how much you scratch it.” – Dara McGrath 

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

“Photography is the recording of strangeness and beauty with beguiling precision.” – Sebastian Smee 

“Regarding the creative: never assume you’re the master, only the student. Your audience will determine if you’re masterful.” – Don Roff 

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

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

“A representational photography says, ‘This is what Vienna looked like.’ An interpretational photograph goes one better and says, ‘This is what Vienna was like. This is how I felt about it.” – David duChemin 

“The camera sees more than the eye, so why not make use of it?” – Edward Weston 

Photography Quote Ansel Adams Make it

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

“Those static images have the uncanny ability to jar the memory and bring places and people back to life. They bridge the present with the past and validate as real what the passage of time has turned into hazy recollections. Were it not for them, my experiences would have remained as just imperfect memories of perfect moments.” – Isabel Lopez

“In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson 

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” – Joan Miro 

“My love of photography is melded with the ability to capture what I want to remember in the moment I never want to forget.” – Devin Dygert 

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

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

“If the photographer isn’t going to pay attention to the picture he is making, that if he thinks the camera is just a machine and not an avenue of expression, then he has no business asking anyone for anything, let alone their time and interest. Don’t show the world, he said, invent the world.” – Whitney Otto 

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

“Your most important gear is your eye, heart and soul.” – Marius Vieth 

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.” – Walker Evans 

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

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

“First rule to be a photographer, you have to be invisible.” – Sameh Talhamy 

photography quote annie-leibovitz natures magnificence

“The two most engaging powers of a photograph are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.” – William Thackeray 

“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 

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

“I began to realize that the camera sees the world differently than the human eye and that sometimes those differences can make a photograph more powerful than what you actually observed.” – Galen Rowell 

“In my view you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photographed it.” – Emile Zola 

“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 

“In photography and in life, always look for the light – if you don’t see it, bring it.” – John Waire 

“The camera is basically a license to explore.” – Jerry Uelsmann 

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

“I create other worlds, magical never-never lands where the camera is my weapon and the battles I fight are with the elements. I stretch the laws of the mind and displace people from their realities to capture a side of them they didn’t even know they had. Photography has the ability to freeze people in this time and space – no matter what happens after that moment, it cannot change – they are exactly how I want them to be.” – Tyler Shields 

“Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.” – Paul Strand 

“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 

“The difference between the casual impression and the intensified image is about as great as that separating the average business letter from a poem. If you choose your subject selectively–intuitively–the camera can write poetry.” – Harry Callahan 

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

“The important thing is, you have to have something important to say about the world.” – Paul Strand

Photography Quote Paul Strand 2


“The more of us that feel the universe, the better off we will be in this world.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson 

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

“Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real.” – Ansel Adams 

“Life is like photography. You need the negatives to develop.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour 

“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 

“Whosoever possesses a camera should never know boredom.” – Wayne Gerard Trotman 

“God creates the beauty. My camera and I are a witness.” – Mark Denman 

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

“I take the same picture twice. First, with my heart, then camera.” – Biju Karakkonam 

“Art is unpredictable.” – Joe Papagoda 

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

“Some days, you just get lucky…Other days you wait patiently for luck to happen.” – Destin Sparks 

“For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to ‘give a meaning’ to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, a discipline of the mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson 

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

“Do not take pictures to please the public; the photo should be spontaneous and free.” – Betty Poluk 

“I see it all through the lens of my camera – the flurry of movement, the venue staff in black T-shirts, giving orders into their headsets. As I take in all in, my mind weighs the texture, the composition, the possibility of each changing scene, and I struggle to hold back, to keep my finger from pressing too soon. That’s my biggest flaw as a photographer. I’m impatient – trigger-happy. I want the shot now, now, now, click, click, click, and if I could just wait a second more, the moment would really flourish.” – Emery Lord 

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

“There is the satisfaction of being able to look at the image without flinching. There is the pleasure of flinching.” – Susan Sontag 

Photography Quote Katja Michael

“Photography is truth.” – Jean-Luc Godard 

“When I make a photograph, I feel that I hold a piece of the universe in my hands.” – Paul Chapio 

“The photographer does the world a great disservice when he leaves his camera at home.” – Mark Denman 

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

“No matter how sophisticated the camera, the photographer is still the one that makes it.” – Doug Bartlow 

“When the world asks, ‘what was it like?’ Only the photographer can say ‘See!’” – Mark Denman 

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

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

“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt  

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

“What can be proved by a photograph can never be by a word.” – T.A 

“All photographers have to do, is find and catch the story-telling moment.” – Alfred Eisenstaedt 

“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.” – Gilles Peress 

“The camera has always been a guide, and it’s allowed me to see things and focus on things that maybe an average person wouldn’t notice.” – Don Chadwick 

“If life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would never have existed.” – Deeksha Mittal 

“Essentially what photography is is life lit up.” – Sam Abell 

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

“Photography is not something you retire from.” – Annie Leibovitz 

Photography Quote Dorothea Lange


“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 

“As a young person, and I know it’s hard to believe that I was shy, but you could take your camera, and it would take you places: it was like having a friend, like having someone to go out with and look at the world. I would do things with a camera I wouldn’t do normally if I was just by myself.” – Annie Leibovitz 

“Photography has nothing to do with cameras.” – Lucas Gentry 

“When the world becomes unclear, I shall focus on photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” – Ansel Adams 

“The instant before something comes into focus is more exciting than any sharp certainty. Photography, child, is about the passing of time. Capturing is the goal of literature. Timelessness is the task of music and painting. But a good photograph holds time just as a vase holds water. The water will evaporate and the vase becomes a memorial to it. What separates a snapshot from a masterpiece is that the latter is a metaphor of patience.” – Miguel Syjuco 

“If a 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 

“The advent of the digital age and the immediacy and convenience of digital video and photography allows people to become an integral part of the feedback loop, which actively shapes the content we are fed.” – Damian Loeb 

“I’m taking that photograph, I understood something I will never forget: how I wished to arrest all the beauty that came before me. Not the classical beauty of symmetry and exact proportions or the fancy of fashion, which is ever-changing with the seasons, but the beauty of a soul, that inner live that reveals itself so seldom, just for an instant, and only if you look closely and learn to see with an open heart.” – Elizabeth Ross 

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

“The way that light hits objects in life, three-dimensional objects before you photograph them is really the story of photography.” – Rashid Johnson 

“Photography is never real, it’s merely one way of many ways of telling the truth.” – John Thai 

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.” – Sally Mann 

“Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.” – Garry Winogrand 

“In the context of photography, there was a luck. But the luck will come, when the photographer is ready.” – Adithya Zen 

Photography Quote Diane Arbus


“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.” – Arnold Newman 

“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 

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

“I love photography. I love the imagery. I love what I do.” – Don McCullin 

“He who seeks beauty will find it.” – Bill Cunningham 

“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 

“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.” – Edward Steitchen 

“Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman 

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on the other side of it.” – Edward Steichen 

“Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.” – Martin Parr 

“Photography is all about the perspective!” – Pradeepa Pandiyan 

“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 

“I think that’s the strength of photography – to decide the decisive moment, to click in the moment to come up with a picture that never comes back again.” – Rene Burri 

“I’ve never taken a photograph of someone and created a persona, I’ve just discovered what was already there.” – Anthony Farrimond 

“What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.” – John Berger 

“In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people.” – James Wilson 

“The shutter of the photographer’s camera makes that repeated mechanical sound. That unlocking and locking of the doors of light to send momentary images of the present into the light trap of the past.” – Simon Mawer 

Photography Quote Ralph Hattersley

“One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.” – Lisa Kristine 

“A picture was a motionless record of motion. An arrested representation of life. A picture was the kiss of death pretending to possess immutability.” – Ivan Klima 

“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 

“Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.” – Ansel Adams 

“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.” – Jay Maisel 

“There is one thing the photograph. Must contain, the humanity of the moment.” – Robert Frank 

“It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography, everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you can learn to see the extraordinary.” – David Bailey 

“The visual arts will one day be king. The pop stars and celebrities soon to be forgotten.” – Luhraw 

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

“Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That’s the thing about painting, photography, cinema.” – David Lynch 

“When you take pictures of nature with passion, nature poses for you more passionately!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan  

“Contrast is what makes photography interesting.” – Conrad Hall 

“I think of photography like therapy.” – Harry Gruyaert 

“Ironically, the only way to see clearly is to stand at a distance. You might be focused, but that doesn’t mean you are seeing correctly. Sometimes, you have to grab the camera from the idiot taking all the shots in your life because they don’t realize the lens is dirty.” – Shannon L. Alder 

“My interest in photography is not to capture an image I see or even have in my mind, but to explore the potential of moments I can only begin to imagine.” – Lois Greenfield 

Photography Quote Roger Kingston

“Photography is not a lens but an eye, not a business but art.” – Farid F. Ibrahim 

“The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer.” – Steven Pinker 

“I didn’t choose photography. Photography chose me.” – Gerardo Suter 

“Some stories, some visions, demand celluloid film and what it can deliver.” – Kodak Eastman 

“When your heart jumps every time your camera locks focus…you’ve become a photographer.” – Mark Denman 

“Photography is the beauty of life captured.” – Tara Chisolm 

“I see myself through others’ eyes and I am made anew.” – Molly Moore 

“When a moment in front of me appears to be particularly special, whether it be by beauty or experience, I capture it. I usually find a reason to justify taking that photo – symmetry, or color or contrast – and it’s my hope that photography sheds light onto what I see and do on a daily basis.” – Connor Franta 

“I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.” – Leon Levinstein 

“If you don’t capture the moment, it will be gone forever.” – Lailah Gifty Akita 

“The biggest cliché in photography is sunrise and sunset.” – Catherine Opie 

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

“Nature is a picture waiting to be taken.” – Katja Michael 

“Photography, to me, is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true.” – Jacques-Henri Lartigue 

Photography Quote Ansel Adams Where to Stand

“Adequate photographers use their sight, good photographers user their senses, and great photographers use their souls.” – A.J. Compton 

“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson 

“Photographers are the history makers, because every picture is a moment which is gone forever and cannot be reshot.” – Biju Karakkonam 

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

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

“A photograph is the best split-second decision one can make!” – Annie O’Reilley 

“What do we feel when we look at a good photograph? We just want to be right there, right at the exact moment that photo was taken!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan 

Photography Quote Burk Uzzle

“Starting a new chapter is much like composing the perfect photograph. You must ensure the proper components are there. You may throw out the extra, but without the key elements the story goes untold.”  Faith Tilley Johnson 

“Only photography has been able to divide human life into a series of moments, each of them has the value of a complete existence.” – Eadweard Muybridge 

“Whatever happens in front of the lens stays. What’s captured during the encounter is all that exists.” – Gregory Heisler 

“To take pictures is to have an interest in things as they are, in the status quo remaining unchanged, to be in complicity with whatever makes a subject interesting, worth photographing – including when that is the interest, another person’s pain or misfortune.” – Susan Sontag

“The way that light hits objects, I think, is one of the more important things that sculpture and photography share.” – Rashid Johnson  

“John White, another Pulitzer Prize winning photographer at the Sun-Times once told me he photographed every sunrise. In disbelief, I inquired why? He simply said he didn’t want to miss the really great one.” – Jack Dykinga 

“Photography is like exploring a new dimension, only I can go there but I can show you where I’ve been.” – Destin Sparks 

Photography Quote Ansel Adams Fuzzy Concept

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

“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 is usually looked at – seldom looked into.” – Ansel Adams 

Please feel free to post your favorite photography quotes in the comments.  If you have an original quote about photography that you created post it up and I will add them in from time to time and build on the list to inspire others.


There you have it, a comprehensive collection of more than 175 of the best quotes on photography. I sincerely hope that reading through these photography quotes has reminded you of the importance of what you do as a photographer.  Perhaps a few inspired you to embrace a new approach, and most importantly helped you to always be willing to see the world through new eyes. I encourage you to pick a favorite and post it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter to inspire others.