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

Jeff Wall
[Photographer, b. 1946, Vancouver, Canada, lives in Vancouver.]

 Reportage, or the spontaneous, fleeting aspect of the photographic image, appear simultaneously with the pictorial, tableau-like aspect at the origins of photography; its traces can be seen in the blurred elements of Daguerre’s first scenes. Reportage evolves in the pursuit of the blurred parts of the pictures. 

Robert Adams
[Photographer and writer, b. 1937, Orange, New Jersey, lives in Astoria, Oregon.]

 If, as a personal matter, I have chosen not to make color pictures, it is because I have remembered how hard it is to write good free verse, with which color photography has some similarities, both being close to what occurs naturally. 

Larry Clark
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1943, Tulsa, Oklahoma, lives in New York.]

 ... I wanted to be a storyteller, tell a story. Which I hate to even admit to now, because I hate photojournalism so badly. 

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. 

Adrian Piper
[Artist, b. 1948, Harlem, New York, lives in Hyannis, Massachusetts.]

 I am black. What are you going to do about it? 

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

 Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it “creative observation.” Creative viewing. 

Helmut Newton
[Photographer, b. 1920, Berlin, d. 2004, Los Angeles.]

 Any photographer who says he’s not a voyeur is either stupid or a liar. 

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

 Photography in our time leaves us with a grave responsibility. While we are playing in our studios with broken flowerpots, oranges, nude studies and still lifes, one day we know that we will be brought to account: life is passing before our eyes without our ever having seen a thing.