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

Robert Irwin
[Artist, b. 1928, Long Beach, California, lives in San Diego, California.]

 No artist worth their salt has ever made their work really abstract. All wanted to make it as real as possible. So the question is what do we mean by reality? 

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

 How foolish of me to have believed that it would be that easy. I had confused the appearance of trees and automobiles and people with reality itself and believed that a photograph of these appearances to be a photograph of it. It is a melancholy truth that I will never be able to photograph it and can only fail. I am a reflection photographing other reflections within a reflection. To photograph reality is to photograph nothing. 

Boris Mikhailov
[Photographer, b. 1938, Kharkov, Ukraine, lives in Kharkov and Berlin.]

 I was always against good technique because it didn’t work with Soviet life. Good quality equals foreign life. 

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

 I’m quite taken aback when I get something that appears to be technically a good photograph, because it’s not necessarily my intention. 

Man Ray (Emanuel Radnitsky)
[Artist, b. 1890, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, d. 1976, Paris.]

 Since I’d opened a studio where I began to practice the debatable art of photography—in order to survive, I told myself—I was invaded by all kinds of people who came to see me as though I were a doctor, in the hope that I’d heal them… 

Donna Ferrato
[Photographer, b. 1949, Waltham, Massachusetts, lives in New York.]

 What makes me really happy is to get deep into the muck and juicy good stuff of people’s lives. 

Alexey Brodovitch
[Graphic designer and art director, b. 1898, Ogolitchi, Russia, d. 1971, Le Thor, France.]

 What is a good photograph? I cannot say. A photograph is tied to the time, what is good today may be a cliché tomorrow. 

André Kertész
[Photographer, b. 1894, Budapest, Hungary, d. 1985, New York.]

 You do not have to imagine things; reality gives you all you need.