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202 photography quotes to inspire you in 2022


“A picture is worth a thousand words” is the first sentence that springs to my mind when I think of photography-related quotes. And while I agree with it, I must admit that I highly respect words, too. Just like photos, there are wise words that can inspire you.

So, to start off the year 2022, we bring you 202 quotes that photographers and other artists said about taking pictures. Some of them will amuse you, some of them will make you think and reevaluate your attitudes. You’ll find some of them relatable, yet get completely mad at the others. But ultimately – all of them will inspire you to think and to create. Is there your favorite one on this list?

“A camera is a SAVE button for the mind’s eye.” – Roger Kingston

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams

“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

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

“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

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

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

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

“A photograph is like a recipe – memory the finished dish.” – Carrie Latet

“A photograph is memory in the raw.” – Carrie Latet

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

“A photojournalist makes snap decisions; based on the ability to quickly assess situations and record one’s perceived truth.” –Jack Dykinga

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

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

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

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

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

“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

“All the planning, intuition, technical prowess, and knowledge, as well as the trust and rapport you have (or haven’t) established, will show up in the picture, frozen forever.” – Gregory Heisler

“Art is what we call…the thing an artist does. It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human. Art is not in the …eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.” – Seth Godin

“Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn’t look like somebody else’s work.” – William Klein

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

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” – Robert Frank

“’Can one learn to look?’ – ‘Can one learn to have sex?’” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.” – Yousuf Karsh

“Clients love pictures where they’re laughing versus just smiling. That’s because there’s emotion behind it. Because you’re capturing energy, not just a still image.” – Jen Rozenbaum

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

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

“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.” – David Alan Harvey

“Everything always looked better in black and white. Everything always looked as if it were the first time; there’s always more people in a black and white photograph. It just makes it seem that there were more people at a gig, more people at a football match, than with colour photography. Everything looks more exciting.” – Jack Lowden

“Fear is the thing that prohibits a lot of photographers from reaching their full potential.” – Collin Pierson

“For me, documentary photography has always come with great responsibility. Not just to tell the story honestly and with empathy, but also to make sure the right people hear it. When you photograph somebody who is in pain or discomfort, they trust you to make sure the images will act as their advocate.” – Giles Duley

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

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

“Gosh, my job is so easy! I just click a button all day… said no photographer ever.” – Unknown

“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.” – Ernst Haas

“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

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

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

“I feel more like a creative artist using photography because there’s – the digital work is so interesting now. It’s come to that. I have had many different stages of photography – there are many different ways to take photos. But I feel now I’m in that stage of my life where I use the camera, you know, in that way.” – Annie Leibovitz

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

“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

“I love this life. I feel like I am always catching my breath and saying, ‘Oh! Will you look at that?’ Photography has been my way of bearing witness to the joy I find in seeing the extraordinary in ordinary life. You don’t look for pictures. Your pictures are looking for you.” – Harold Feinstein

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

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

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

“I think life is too short not to be doing something which you really believe in.” – Steve McCurry

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

“I think that emotional content is an image’s most important element, regardless of the photographic technique. Much of the work I see these days lacks the emotional impact to draw a reaction from viewers, or remain in their hearts.” – Anne Geddes

“I threw myself into this artform because photography had given me a new sense of mission and identity.” – Bob Anderson

“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

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

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

“I’ve always believed that photography is a way to shape human perception.” – James Balog

“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.” – Eve Arnold

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

“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no shortcuts in photography.” – Edward Weston

“If Photoshop is the answer, you’re asking the wrong question” – Dean Farrell

“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

“If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it’s a street photograph.” – Bruce Gilden

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

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

“If your pictures are not good enough you are not close enough.” – Robert Capa

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

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

“In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” – Andy Warhol

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

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

“It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.” – Paul Strand

“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 learn to see the extraordinary.” – David Bailey

“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.” – Elliott Erwitt

“It’s not the camera but who’s behind the camera.” – Anonymous”

“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

“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

“Kodak sells film, but they don’t advertise film; they advertise memories.” – Theodore Levitt

“Life is like photography – we develop from the negatives” – Unknown

“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

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

“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

“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

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

“My photography is the result of being there at the right moment.”– Rene Burri

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

“My ultimate goal is to try to make the ordinary look extraordinary” – Martin Parr

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

“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

“Of course I realize that photography is not the technical facility as much as it is the eye, and this decision that one makes for the moment at which you are going to snap, you know.” – Ben Shahn

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

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

“Only photograph what you love.” – Tim Walker

“Part of the role of photography is to exaggerate, and that is an aspect that I have to puncture. I do that by showing the world as I really find it.” – Martin Parr

“Perception isn’t reality, it’s the only reality.” – Amy and Jordan Demos

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

“Photographing a culture in the here and now often means photographing the intersection of the present with the past.” – David DuChemin

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

“Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.” – Berenice Abbott

“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

“Photography gives you the opportunity to use your sensibility and everything you are to say something about and be part of the world around you. In this way, you might discover who you are, and with a little luck, you might discover something much larger than yourself.” – Peter Lindbergh

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

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

“Photography helps people to see.”  – Berenice Abbott

“Photography is a kind of virtual reality, and it helps if you can create the illusion of being in an interesting world.” – Steven Pinker

“Photography is a love affair with life.” – Burk Uzzle

“Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.” – W. Eugene Smith

“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 a way of putting distance between myself and the work which sometimes helps me to see more clearly what it is that I have made.” – Andy Goldsworthy

“Photography is about capturing souls not smiles.” – Dragan Tapshanov

“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

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

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

“Photography is like a moment, an instant. You need a half-second to get the photo. So it’s good to capture people when they are themselves.” – Patrick Demarchelier

“Photography is my passion. Whenever I get time, I click.” – Shaheer Sheikh

“Photography is not about cameras, gadgets and gizmos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn’t make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel.” – Peter Adams

“Photography is the art of making memories tangible.” – Destin Sparks

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

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

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

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

“Photography is truth.”– Jean-Luc Godard

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

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

“Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution.” – Ansel Adams

“Results are uncertain even among the more experienced photographers.” – Matthew Brady

“Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.” –  Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase.” – Percy W. Harris

“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

“Spend more time working on posing, expressions, and creating energy between the couple and you – they need to feel the energy that makes them react. Remember, reaction is part of the pose.” – Roberto Valenzuela

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

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

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

“The best camera is the one you have with you” – Chase Jarvis

“The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed.” – Anne Geddes

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

“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

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

“The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.” – Orson Welles

“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

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

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

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

“The more pictures you see, the better you are as a photographer.” – Robert Mapplethorpe

“The more you photograph, the more you realize what can and what can’t be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.” – Eliot Porter

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

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

“The pictures are there, and you just take them.” – Robert Capa

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

“The subject matter is so much more important than the photographer.” – Gordon Parks

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

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

“The world moves fast, changing everything around us with each new day. Photography is a gift that can keep us in a moment forever, blissfully eternal.” – Ali Novak

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

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

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

“There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph.” – Robert Heinecken

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” –  Ansel Adams

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

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” – Ernst Haas

“There’s a time when people say your work is revolutionary, but you have to keep being revolutionary. I can’t keep shooting pop stars all my life. You have to keep changing, keep pushing yourself, looking for the new, the unusual.” – Rankin

“There’s something strange and powerful about black and white imagery.” – Stefan Kanfer

“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

“To me, a photograph means the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the meaning of an event on the one hand and the exact arrangement of the visually perceived forms expressing that event on the other.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“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

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“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

“To photograph: it is to put on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

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

“Today, I am going to shoot someone… and they will love me for it!” – Unknown

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

“We don’t ‘feel’ our way into [inspiration], we ‘work’ our way in. […] [Inspiration] doesn’t strike as a feeling while you’re sitting on a couch waiting for it. [Inspiration] most often strikes when you’ve already gotten yourself up and begun to create. On the hardest days, ‘making’ has to begin with a rational choice.” – Sean Tucker

“We don’t learn from our good images; we learn from the ones that can be improved on.” – Jen Rozenbaum

“What I have learnt and what I teach now is all about experimentation and learning to pick yourself up and try again when you fall down.” – Lara Jade

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

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

“Whatever situations you’re in, you have to find a way to rock it.” – Mary Marantz

“What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially.” –  Roland Barthes

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

“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 my photography sheds light onto what I see and do on a daily basis.” – Connor Franta

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

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

“When I photograph I make love.” – Alfred Stieglitz

“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

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

“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

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

“When you photograph a face… you photograph the soul behind it.” – Jean-Luc Godard

“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

“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” – Alfred Stieglitz

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

“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

“Why do we use flash at all? Because photography is not the same as eyesight. We can see in low-light situations where cameras, dependent upon a physical process to record visual information, are half-blind.” – David Hewson

“Without vision, the photographer perishes – David duChemin

“Work very hard, until you don’t have to introduce yourself anymore.” – Roberto Vazquez

“Yes, it took me just a moment to draw this line with the brush. But it took me months, perhaps even years, of reflection to form the idea.” –  Joan Miró

“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 Miró

“You cannot possibly hit the shutter without leaving a piece of you in the image.” – Joe Buissink

“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

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

“You don’t take pictures, they take you.” – Jay Maysel

“You might be a photographer if… Your eyesight from staring at the computer has gone from F11 to F1.8.” – Naman Pokarna’s Photography

“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.” – William Albert Allard

“Your first 1,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

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

Do you have your favorite photography quote? Is it on this list? Feel free to share it with us, there’s never enough. 🙂





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