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

Andreas Gursky
[Photographer, b. 1955, Leipzig, Germany, lives in Dusseldorf.]

 In retrospect I can see that my desire to create abstractions has become more and more radical. Art should not be delivering a report on reality, but should be looking at what’s behind something. 

Sally Mann
[Photographer, b. 1951, Lexington, Virginia, lives in Lexington.]

 If transgression is at the very heart of photographic portraiture, then the ideal outcome—beauty, communion, honesty, empathy—mitigates the offense. 

Jean Paul Sartre
[Writer and philosopher, b. 1905, Paris, d. 1980, Paris.]

 Here I am, bent over the keyhole; suddenly I hear a footstep. I shudder as a wave of shame sweeps over me. Somebody has seen me. 

A.D. Coleman
[Critic and writer, b. 1943, New York, lives in New York.]

 We’ve spent now about 150 years trying to convince ourselves that photographs are reliable evidence, some unimpeachable slice of the real world. That was a myth from the very beginning. 

Charles Bukowski
[Writer, b. 1920, Andernach, Germany, d. 1994, San Pedro, California.]

 an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of M. Monroe.
there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock 

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

 [Being a great photojournalist is] a matter of getting out on a damn limb and sawing it off behind you. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.
 

Beaumont Newhall
[Photographer, writer, and historian, b. 1908, Lynn, Massachusetts, d. 1993, Santa Fe, New Mexico.]

 It is peculiar to photography that, by the extreme ease of its production, many accidentally interesting photographs are produced.