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

Diane Keaton
[Actress and photography collector, b. 1946, Los Angeles, lives in Los Angeles.]

 Permanence can only be found in the immortality offered by the click of a camera. Like it or not, life moves on as fleetingly as the photograph is enduring. 

Max Pam
[Photographer, b. 1949, Melbourne, Australia, lives in Perth, Australia.]

 [My photography teacher] gave me the Mexican Day Books of Edward Weston and just blew me away with this work. The fact that you could be this fabulous visual artist, with all this milieu of people like Diego Rivera and you could sleep with these gorgeous, amazing women, that you could live that life—that photography could deliver you that life. 

Jack Welpott
[Photographer, b. 1923, Kansas City, Missouri, d. 2007, Greenbrae, California.]

 I am still struck by the power of photography to strip away the bark of the mind and reveal the visceral workings underneath. 

David LaChapelle
[Photographer, b. 1968, Connecticut, lives in New York.]

 If you want reality take the bus. 

Bill McKibben
[Writer, b. 1960, Palo Alto, California, lives near Lake Chanokaub, New York.]

 ... the constant flow of images undercuts the sense that there’s actually something wrong with the world. How can there really be a shortage of whooping cranes when you’ve seen a thousand images of them—seen ten times more images than there are actually whooping cranes left in the wild? 

Philip K. Dick
[Writer, b. 1928, Chicago, Illinois, d. 1982, Santa Ana, California.]

 When do I see a photograph, when a reflection? 

Joel Sternfeld
[Photographer, b. 1944, New York, lives in New York.]

 No individual photo explains anything. That’s what makes photography such a wonderful and problematic medium. It is the photographer’s job to get this medium to say what you need it to say. Because photography has a certain verisimilitude, it has gained a currency as truthful—but photographs have always been convincing lies. 

Barbara Kruger
[Artist, b. 1945, Newark, New Jersey, lives in New York.]

 Pictures and the words that mark or surround them seem to construct and contain us. From photos to movies, to TV, to home videos and computers, these pictures and words have the power to tell us who we are and who we aren’t, to dictate what we can and cannot be. But they also suggest that seeing is no longer believing and that what you see is not what you get.