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

Siegfried Kracauer
[Media critic and sociologist, b. 1889, Frankfurt, Germany, d. 1966, New York.]

 The question is whether the image decisively catches reality. (1930) 

Margaret Bourke-White
[Photographer, b. 1904, New York, d. 1971, Darien, Connecticut.]

 The element of discovery is very important. I don’t repeat myself well. I want and need that stimulus of walking forward from one new world to another. 

Italo Calvino
[Writer, b. 1923, Santiago de la Vegas, Cuba, d. 1985, Siena, Italy.]

 Whatever person you decide to photograph, or whatever thing, you must go on photographing it always, exclusively, at every hour of the day and night. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 What use is having a great depth of field, if there is not an adequate depth of feeling? 

Pieter Hugo
[Photographer, b. 1976, Johannesburg, South Africa, lives in Cape Town.]

 One of the things intrinsic to the medium of photography is that it’s inherently voyeuristic, and that’s what gives the medium a lot of energy. But it also creates problems that you have to solve. 

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

 Until a few years ago, I was able to stave off an awareness that there is not an ounce of beauty in the world, and that humanity is a thing of extreme hideousness. So I could shoot and believe in something. (1972) 

Larry Fink
[Photographer, b. 1941, Brooklyn, New York, lives in Martins Creek, Pennsylvania.]

 [Photography is] the idea of the transformative merger between you and the person you are seeing, that you somehow try to enter their form, their skin, their mass, their muscle, and potentially, possibly, their soul. 

Richard Avedon
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 2004, San Antonio, Texas.]

 Nothing about [Diane Arbus’s] life, her photographs, or her death was accidental or ordinary. They were mysterious and decisive and unimaginable, except to her. Which is the way it is with genius.