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

Lewis Baltz
[Photographer, b. 1945, Newport Beach, California, d. 2014, Paris.]

 It might be more useful, if not necessarily more true, to think of photography as a narrow, deep area between the novel and film. 

Lee Miller
[Photographer and model, b. 1907, Poughkeepsie, New York, d. 1976, Sussex, England.]

 No question that German civilians knew what went on. Railway into Dachau camp runs past villa, with trains of dead or semi-dead deportees. I usually don’t take pictures of horrors. But don’t think that every town and every area isn’t rich with them. I hope Vogue will feel it can publish these pictures. (Cable from German front, May, 1945) 

Phil Stern
[Photographer, b. 1919, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 2014, Los Angeles.]

 You point a camera, and you push the button. The only trouble is that your life is at stake, and I came close to being killed quite a few times. But it turns out that everything seems to work in my favor. God apparently is very generous to atheists. He fucks the believers. That’s my observation. (On his time as a WWII army photographer.) 

Edward Steichen
[Photographer and curator, b. 1879, Luxembourg, Germany, d. 1973, West Redding, Connecticut.]

 Every other artist begins [with] a blank canvas, a piece of paper... the photographer begins with the finished product. 

Nan Goldin
[Photographer, b. 1953, Washington, D.C., lives in New York and Paris.]

 [The snapshot is] the form of photography that is most defined by love. People take them out of love, and they take them to remember—people, places, and times. They’re about creating a history by recording a history. 

Rankin (John Rankin Waddell)
[Photographer, b. 1966, Glasgow, Scotland, lives in London.]

 At the end of the day, photography is ninety-nine percent business, connections, and politics and one percent creativity. 

Peter Wollen
[Writer, theorist, filmmaker, b. 1938, London, lives in Los Angeles.]

 Photography is motionless and frozen, it has the cryogenic power to preserve objects through time without decay. 

Walter Benjamin
[Philosopher, critic, and theorist, b. 1892, Berlin, d. 1940, Port Bou, France.]

 Every image of the past that is not recognised by the present as one of its own threatens to disappear irretrievably.