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

Edmundo Desnoes
[Writer, b. 1930, Havana, Cuba, lives in New York.]

 Photographs are detonators. They explode in us. We are the gaze as well as the gazed-at. The observer and the observed. 

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. 

Marc Riboud
[Photographer, b. 1923, St.-Genis-Laval, France, d. 2016, Paris.]

 The target of our line of sight is reality, but our framing can transform it into a dream. 

William J. T. Mitchell
[Writer, theorist, and architect, b. 1944, Melbourne, Australia, lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.]

 Picture, what do you want of me? 

Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane Mortenson)
[Actress, b. 1926, Los Angeles, d. 1962, Los Angeles.]

 It’s like being screwed by a thousand guys and you can’t get pregnant. (On what happens between her and still cameras, to photographer Ernst Cunningham.) 

Ed Ruscha
[Artist, b. 1937, Omaha, Nebraska, lives in Los Angeles.]

 Unfortunately, there was no Jackson Pollock of the camera. 

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

 When you hold on to something that moves, that is a kind of death. The camera, the photographic image have always called forth the idea of death. And I think about death when I photograph, as you can see in the pictures. That may be an oriental, Buddhist concept. 

Robert Frank
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]

 When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.