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.]

 A photograph is not only an image (as a painting is an image), an interpretation of the real; it is also a trace, something directly stenciled off the real, like a footprint or a death mask. 

Luigi Ghirri
[Photographer, b. 1943, Scandiano, Italy, d. 1992, Reggio Emilia, Italy.]

 …my role as a photographer is never that of an author, a chronicler, or a director; my role should be indistinguishable from those I photograph. 
 …a man photographed is always no more than a photograph. 

Weegee (Usher Fellig)
[Photographer, b. 1899, Zlothew near Lemberg, Austrian Galicia (now Zolochiv, Ukraine), d. 1968, New York.]

 Every time I heard a sigh or a groan in the dark, I pushed the button. 

Annette Messager
[Artist, b. 1943, Berck-sur-Mer, France, lives in Paris.]

 I never take a picture of a face because a face is somebody, an arm is not recognizable as somebody. When you take a photograph of someone’s face, it identifies it as somebody, but if you take just a fragment, it’s everybody. It’s not one person. 

Crazy Horse (Tasunka Witko)
[Leader of the Oglala Sioux, b. 1849, Lakota lands, d. 1877, Fort Robinson, Nebraska.]

 My friend, why should you wish to shorten my life by taking from me my shadow? (To photographer Dr. Valentine T. McGillycuddy.) 

Lord Snowdon (Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones)
[Earl and photographer, b. 1930, London, England, d. 2017, London.]

 I think it is quite wrong to photograph, for example, Garbo, if she doesn’t want to be photographed. Now I would have loved to photograph her, but she obviously didn’t want to be photographed so I didn’t follow it up. Then somebody will photograph her walking down the street because she has to walk down the street, and I mind that sort of intrusion. I think this is horrible. 

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

 At the end of the day, it’s only a photograph and if someone is going to get really upset about a photograph, then they have a lot of issues. I just roll with it and see what happens.