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

Philip Jones Griffiths
[Photojournalist, b. 1936, Rhuddian, Wales, d. 2008, London.]

 The twentieth century was the time of photography, when almost everything of importance was recorded and considered true because it was photographed. Nowadays nearly anyone can produce a photograph of Ladybird Johnson standing on the grassy knoll with a smoking gun in her hand and no one can prove it’s a fake. 

Robert Polidori
[Photographer, b. 1951, Montréal, Canada, lives in New York.]

 My belief is that you should take stills of what doesn’t seem to move, and take movies or videos of [what] does. 

Martha Rosler
[Artist, b. 1943, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]

 Documentary is a little like horror movies, putting a face on fear and transforming threat into fantasy, into imagery. One can handle imagery by leaving it behind. (It is them, not us.) 

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

 The world is full of fictional characters looking for their stories. 

Ingrid Sischy
[Editor and writer, b. 1952, Johannesburg, South Africa, d. 2015, New York.]

 Beautification of tragedy results in pictures that ultimately reinforce our passivity toward the experience they reveal. 

Michelangelo Antonioni
[Filmmaker, b. 1912, Ferrara, Italy, d. 2007, Rome.]

 We know that under the revealed image there is another one which is more faithful to reality, and under this one is yet another, and again another under this last one, down to the true image of that absolute, mysterious reality that nobody will ever see. Or perhaps, not until the decomposition of every image, of every reality. 

Stephen Shore
[Photographer, b. 1947, New York, lives in New York.]

 It’s the bane of my existence that I see photography not as a way of recording personal experience particularly, but as this process of exploring the world and the medium. I have to be reminded, “It’s your son’s birthday party. Bring a camera.” And then, when I’m there, “Take a picture,” because it doesn’t occur to me to use it as this memorializing thing. 

Victor Burgin
[Artist and writer, b. 1941, Sheffield, England, lives in London.]

 ... looking is not indifferent. There can never be any question of “just looking”: vision is structured in such a way that the look always-already includes a history of the subject.