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

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 The appetite for showing pictures of bodies in pain is as keen, almost, as the desire for ones that show bodies naked. 

John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 Whatever else a photograph may be about, it is inevitably about photography, the container and vehicle of all its meanings. 

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

 Photography has always been associated with death. Reality is colorful, yet early photography always took the color out of reality and made it black-and-white. Color is life; black-and-white is death. There was a ghost hidden in the invention of photography. 

Duane Michals
[Photographer, b. 1932, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, lives in New York.]

 You go to these schools, and the kids all show you gorgeous prints of water running over pebbles. I’d rather see a not-so-gorgeous mistake of a brilliant idea, an idea that maybe the kid didn’t even know how to solve technically, but who cares, because he’s talking about something incredible. It’s not the medium, it’s the message for me. 

Chris Killip
[Photographer, b. 1946, Douglas, Isle of Man, United Kingdom, lives in Boston.]

 The moment you make a photograph you consign whatever you photograph to the past as that specific moment no longer exists, it is history. The photography that I practice takes place in a specific time and place, depicting real moments in people’s lives. In some ways I think of myself as a historian, but not of the word. History is most often written from a distance, and rarely from the viewpoint of those who endured it. 

Roman Opalka
[Artist, b. 1931, Hocquincourt, France, d. 2011, Rome.]

 Art has a lot in common with madness. After all, why should one get involved with art? You can live normally like everyone else—which is to say, as stupidly as everyone else. 

Eudora Welty
[Writer, b. 1909, Jackson, Mississippi, d. 2001, Jackson.]

 I’m not very eloquent about things like this, but I think that writing and photography go together. I don’t mean that they are related arts, because they’re not. But the person doing it, I think, learns from both things about accuracy of the eye, about observation, and about sympathy toward what is in front of you... It’s about honesty, or truth telling, and a way to find it in yourself, how to need it and learn from it. 

Stephen Shore
[Photographer, b. 1947, New York, lives in New York.]

 A photograph has edges, the world does not.