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50 Inspiring Photography Quotes

Ever since I became a professional photographer more than twenty years ago, I was amazed at how many inspiring photography quotes are out there.

The legends of the art form left, and continue to leave, quotes that can provide photographers with a pearl of inspiration and help change the way they see photography on the whole.

So, sit back and enjoy reading this collection of inspiring photography quotes!

alfred eisenstaedt quotes about photography

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

Ansel Adams

“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear.”

Alfred Eisenstaedt

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

— Alfred Stieglitz

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”

— Anonymous


 “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Aaron Siskind

 “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”

— Annie Leibovitz

“You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.

— Unknown

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 “Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”

— Diane Arbus

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

— Elliott Erwitt


 “The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”

Scott Lorenzo

 “If the photographer is interested in the people in front of his lens, and if he is compassionate, it’s already a lot. The instrument is not the camera but the photographer.”

— Eve Arnold

 “A tear contains an ocean. A photographer is aware of the tiny moments in a persons life that reveal greater truths.”

— Anonymous

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”

— Dorothea Lange

 peter adams photographer depth of feeling quote

 “Essentially what photography is is life lit up.”

— Sam Abell 

“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.”

— Gilles Peress

 “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”

— Diane Arbus

 “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”

— Ansel Adams


 “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”

— Elliott Erwitt

“A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.”

— Irving Penn

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

— Karl Lagerfeld

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 “Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”

— Matt Hardy

“I love the people I photograph. I mean, they’re my friends. I’ve never met most of them or I don’t know them at all, yet through my images I live with them.”

— Bruce Gilden

 “All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.”

— Richard Avedon

 “I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.”

— Diane Arbus


You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.

Joan Miro

 “Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.”

— Tony Benn

 “My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport.”

— Steve McCurry

“The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.”

— Susan Meiselas

 “I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are.”

— Ellen Von Unwerth

jean luc goddard quotes

“In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.”

August Sander

 “It’s weird that photographers spend years or even a whole lifetime, trying to capture moments that added together, don’t even amount to a couple of hours.”

James Lalropui Keivom

“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.”

— Jay Maisel

“The knack is to find your own inspiration and take it on a journey to create work that is personal and revealing.”

— Martin Parr

“The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.”

— Annie Leibovitz

In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.

August Sander

“Photographing a culture in the here and now often means photographing the intersection of the present with the past.”

— David DuChemin

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”

— Don McCullin

“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”

— Elliott Erwitt

“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition in a fraction of a second of the significance of an event.”

— Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”

— Imogen Cunningham

photography quotes by lucas gentry

Did you enjoy these inspiring photography quotes?

If you like these photography quotes, be sure to let us know over on Instagram or Twitter! Who knows, if there is great feedback we might break out even more great quotes from photographers.

Also, be sure to check out our archive of great photography tips and techniques to level up your photography skills!

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The Nerdy Photographer

With more than a quarter century as a professional photographer, The Nerdy Photographer's goal is to spread knowledge and laughter throughout the photo industry. Please follow along on social media and subscribe to the podcast.

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