Welcome to the world’s largest photo quotation resource. These are not tired old quotes scammed from online sources and passed around like stale donuts at a committee meeting. This photo quote collection is the uniquely flavored creation of a single intelligence, not a group effort or a corporate product.


You’ll find thousands of fresh quotes on photography, with more added constantly. They’re hand-selected to inform, confound, and provoke. Browse photo quotes by author, of course, but you can also engage with the quotations by subject. In fact, the photo quotes are available in three clusters of subjects—Themes, Oppositions, and On Photography.  Plunge in. Get smart. Be challenged. Cause trouble.  —Quoteman

Crazy Horse (Tasunka Witko)
[Leader of the Oglala Sioux, b. 1849, Lakota lands, d. 1877, Fort Robinson, Nebraska.]

 My friend, why should you wish to shorten my life by taking from me my shadow? (To photographer Dr. Valentine T. McGillycuddy.) 

Walker Evans
[Photographer, b. 1903, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1975, New Haven, Connecticut.]

 Photography should have the courage to present itself as what it is, which is a graphic composition produced by a machine and an eye and then some chemicals and paper. Technically, it has nothing to do with painting. 

Blaise Cendrars
[Writer and poet, b. 1887, Chaux-de-Fonds, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, d. 1961, Paris.]

 Photogenic is a stupid, nonsensical word, but it is also a great mystery. 

Imogen Cunningham
[Photographer, b. 1883, Portland, d. 1976, San Francisco.]

 The formula for doing a good job in photography is to think like a poet. 

Tom Wolfe
[Writer, b. 1930, Richmond, Virginia, d. 2018, New York.]

 Suddenly there is magic in such items... as random and eccentric framing, blurred images, keeling horizons, distorted scale, unreal colors (puce waters, chartreuse skies), grotesque foreshortening... and nightclub photo lighting with its flash overexposures and clotted shadows and inexplicable detail and tilted walls and stray items—arms, legs, shoes, cloven bottoms, anorexic elbows—appearing in an amputated condition about the edges... Once regarded as technical limitation of the medium, as annoyances to be overcome by professional expertise, they now become like animae, tree spirits, to be treated with reverence and looked to for guidance. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 Contrary to what is suggested by the humanist claims made for photography, the camera’s ability to transform reality into something beautiful derives from its relative weakness as a means of conveying the truth. 

Gerhard Richter
[Artist, b. 1932, Dresden, lives in Düsseldorf.]

 All photographs are far more important than any painting. 

John Berger
[Writer and critic, b. 1926, London, d. 2017, Paris.]

 Walk down a street of private galleries—but it is unnecessary to describe the dealers with their faces like silk purses. Everything they say is said to disguise their proper purpose. If you could fuck works of art as well as buy them, they would be pimps.