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

Jesse Helms
[Politician and U.S. senator, b. 1921, Monroe, North Carolina, d. 2008, Raleigh, North Carolina.]

 I do not know Mr. Andres Serrano, and I hope I never meet him. Because he is not an artist, he is a jerk. Let us examine exactly what this bird did to get $15,000 of the taxpayers’ money through the so-called National Endowment for the Arts. If they have no more judgment than that, it ought to be abolished and all funds returned to the taxpayer. What this Serrano fellow did, he filled a bottle with his own urine and then stuck a crucifix down there—Jesus Christ on a cross. He set it up on a table and took a picture of it. (1989) 

Lev Manovich
[Artist, theorist, and critic, b. 1960, Moscow, lives in New York.]

 Once we came to accept the photographic image as reality, the way to its future simulation was open. 

Max Pam
[Photographer, b. 1949, Melbourne, Australia, lives in Perth, Australia.]

 [My photography teacher] gave me the Mexican Day Books of Edward Weston and just blew me away with this work. The fact that you could be this fabulous visual artist, with all this milieu of people like Diego Rivera and you could sleep with these gorgeous, amazing women, that you could live that life—that photography could deliver you that life. 

Barbara Kasten
[Photographer, b. 1936, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Chicago.]

 The question is: Can I make a photograph that is truly abstract, or must photographs always be representational as reality is there at their core?  

Robert Capa (Endre Ernő Friedmann)
[Photographer, b. 1913, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1954, Thai Binh, Vietnam.]

 What’s the point of getting killed if you’ve got the wrong exposure? 

Robert Rauschenberg
[Artist, b. 1925, Port Arthur, Texas, d. 2008, Captiva Island, Florida.]

 You wait until life is in the frame, then you have the permission to click. I like the adventure of waiting until the whole frame is full. 

Justine Kurland
[Photographer, b. 1969, Warsaw, New York, lives mostly on the road.]

 There’s something political about creating a world that you want to exist. 

Steve Edwards
[Writer and photohistorian, lives in London.]

 There is nothing any more but surface. Representation is all there is and can ever be. There, simply, can be no outside to this endless round of meaningless meaning. What we experience as reality is, in reality, the reality effect. The age of a life beyond the image has gone forever. Now, all we can know are media projections, the beams of flickering images, and the whirr of tape heads.