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

Napoleon Bonaparte
[Military commander and emperor, b. 1769, Ajaccio, Corsica, d. 1821, St. Helena, France.]

 A picture is worth a thousand words. 

Annette Messager
[Artist, b. 1943, Berck-sur-Mer, France, lives in Paris.]

 Pornography is about images that are repeated, saturated. Images of the human body, not nature. What I find in pornography is precisely the repetition of the same: the clichés of pornography. There can be no real transgression, just an image that repeats itself. 

James Nachtwey
[Photographer, b. 1948, Syracuse, New York, lives in New York.]

 When I approach people, I do it with respect, with deference; I do it slowly and gently and I think about the way I move, the way I speak and the way I use the camera. I let them know that I respect them and what they’re going through. 

Paul Outerbridge
[Photographer, b. 1896, New York, d. 1958, Laguna Beach, California.]

 If exposure of a nude body is thought to incite relations between the sexes, well, what of it. We want a large population anyway. 

Eliot Porter
[Photographer, b. 1901, Winnetka, Illinois, d. 1990, Santa Fe, New Mexico.]

 Sometimes you can tell a large story with a tiny subject. 

Brassaï (Gyula Halász)
[Photographer, b. 1889, Brassó, Transylvania, Hungary (now Romania), d. 1984, Eze, Alpes-Maritimes, France.]

 The surrealism of my pictures was nothing but the real made eerie by vision. I was trying to express reality, for there is nothing more surrealist. 

Jerry Uelsmann
[Photographer, b. 1934, Detroit, Michigan, lives in Gainesville, Florida.]

 The courage to believe we don’t know what we think we know is the first stage of the discovery process. 

Adrienne Rich
[Feminist and writer, b. 1929, Baltimore, Maryland, d. 2012, Santa Cruz, California.]

 Whatever is unnamed, undepicted in images, whatever is omitted from biography, censored in collections of letters, whatever is misnamed as something else, made difficult to come by, whatever is buried in the memory by the collapse of meaning under an inadequate or lying language, this will become not merely unspoken, but unspeakable.