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.]

 When one has a picture taken, the photographer says “Perfect!” Just as you are! That is death. 

Garry Winogrand
[Photographer, b. 1928, New York, d. 1984, Tijuana, Mexico.]

 The photograph isn’t what was photographed. It’s something else. It’s a new fact. 

Allan Sekula
[Photographer, writer, and theorist, b. 1951, Erie, Pennsylvania, d. 2013, Los Angeles.]

 Communications technologies—photographic reproduction, linked computers—provide strong tools for the instrumental channeling of human desire… disguised as a benign expansion of the field of human intimacy. (2002) 

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

 The basic effect of modern mass media on photography has been to erode the creative independence and the accountability of the photographer who has worked for them. (1967) 

Manuel Álvarez Bravo
[Photographer, b. 1902, Mexico City, d. 2002, Mexico City.]

 Telemann once said something interesting. He said that every musician must be whistling something at all times. Well, I say that every photographer must be living at all times. 

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

 ...the time when a picture is taken is like an emotion, it’s like a sexual encounter. It’s like a fuck! So, timing is very important. 

Susie Linfield
[Writer and critic, New York, lives in New York.]

 It’s hard to resist the thought that a very large number of photography critics—including the most influential ones—don’t really like photographs, or the act of looking at them, at all. 

John Gutmann
[Photographer, b. 1905, Breslau, Germany, (now Wroclaw, Poland), d. 1998, San Francisco, California.]

 To me, photography was a completely new medium, and I did not... feel the urge to transfer to it my ideas about painting.