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

Barbara Morgan
[Photographer, b. 1900, Buffalo, Kansas, d. 1992, North Tarrytown, New York.]

 Primarily, I am after that instant of combustion, when all the energies of the spirit are wonderfully coordinated with the action of the body. How to get that onto a negative! 

Nobuyoshi Araki
[Photographer, b. 1940, Tokyo, lives in Tokyo.]

 What makes [photography] obscene is its terrible cruelty. Happiness may be fleeting, but it’s the reason we go on living. Photography is the joy that precedes pain, the moment of life just before death. 

Paul Strand
[Photographer, b. 1890, New York, d. 1976, Oregeval, France.]

 The artist is one who makes a concentrated statement about the world in which he lives and that statement tends to become impersonal—it tends to become universal and enduring because it comes out of something very particular. 

Martin Munkacsi
[Photographer, b. 1898, Kolozsvár, Hungary, (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania), d. 1963, New York.]

 Never pose your subjects. Let them move about naturally... All great photographs today are snapshots. (1935) 

William S. Burroughs
[Writer, b. 1914, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1997, Lawrence, Kansas.]

 Smash the control images. Smash the control machine. 

Daido Moriyama
[Photographer, b. 1938, Ikeda-cho, Osaka, Japan, lives in Tokyo.]

 I use the camera as a procedure by which continually to affirm my identity, asking myself: “What is the meaning of life in a world and among human beings as grotesque, scandalous, and accidental as the one in which I live and those with whom I interact?” 

Sol LeWitt
[Artist and theorist, b. 1928, Hartford, Connecticut, d. 2007, New York.]

 The idea becomes a machine that makes the art. 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
[Photographer and painter, b. 1908, Chanteloup, France, d. 2004, Paris.]

 There is a lot of talk about camera angles; the only valid angles in existence are the angles of the geometry of composition and not the ones fabricated by the photographer who falls flat on his stomach or who performs other antics to procure his effects.