96 Most Inspirational Photography Quotes in 2020

photography inspiration

It’s no wonder that photography quotes are one of the most popular things to share on social media, usually by other photographers, of course.

Reading one line that encapsulates our love for photography and art is powerful and often reminds us of the importance of documenting moments with our cameras.

Here’s a selection of the most inspirational photography quotes primarily made by great and famous photographers over the past 100 years.

No matter whether you’re an amateur learning more about photography or you’re looking for the best picture caption, our favorite list of 96 iconic quotes about photography will definitely inspire you.

  • “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
    Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • “Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real.”
    Ansel Adams
  • “Photography is the story I fail to put into words.”
    Destin Sparks
  • “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
    Ansel Adams
  • “When I photograph I make love.”
    Alfred Stieglitz

Photography quotes for Instagram

Photography quotes for Facebook

  • “The negative is the equivalent of the composer’s score and the print the performance.”
    – Ansel Adams
  • “There is one thing the photo must contain – the humanity of the moment.”
    – Robert Frank
  • “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
  • “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
  • “Photography is the art of making memories tangible.”
    – Destin Sparks

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  • “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”
    – Ted Grant
  • A good snapshot keeps a moment that s gone from running away.
    – Eudora Welty
  • “Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.”
    – Duane Michals
  • “ 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
  • “It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart, and head.”
    -Henri Cartier-Bresson

photographer quotes andy warhol

  • “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”
    – Edward Steichen
  • “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.”
    – Paul Caponigro
  • “Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”
    – Diane Arbus

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  • “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”
    – Annie Leibovitz
  • I go and get the camera and do it. Photography is a medium in which if you don’t do it then, very often you don’t do it at all, because it doesn’t happen twice.”
    – Paul Strand

quotes and sayings about photography

  • “The photo that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”
    – Scott Lorenzo
  • “In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people.”
    – James Wilson
  • “Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.”
    – Paul Strand
  • “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
  • “Photographers stop photographing subjects too soon before they have exhausted the possibilities.” 
    – Dorothea Lange

photography quotes and sayings

  • “The painter constructs, the photographer discloses.”
    – Susan Sontag
  • “It is my intention to present – through the medium of photography – intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators.”
    – Ansel Adams
  • “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
    – Dorothea Lange
  • “Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the photo is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.”
    – Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • “In my mind, I visualize how a particular… sight will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice.”
    – Ansel Adams

Best_Photography_Quotes by Shotkit

  • “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
    – Marc Riboud
  • “Once you learn to care, you can record images with your mind or on film. There is no difference between the two.”
    – Anon
  • “Photograph: a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.”
    – Ambrose Bierce
  • “My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, or the camera’s eye may entirely change my idea.”
    – Edward Weston
  • “Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.”
    – Jean-Luc Godard

Best_Photography_Quotes by Shotkit

  • “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
  • “If you see something that moves you, and then snap it, you keep a moment.”
    – Linda McCartney
  • “To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.”
    – Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • “There are always two people in every photo: the photographer and the viewer.”
    – Ansel Adams
  • “A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
    – Diane Arbus

quotes by photographers

  • “Always shoot from the shadow side.”
    – Ted Grant
  • “Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.”
    – George Eastman
  • “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
    – Karl Lagerfeld
  • “The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere far from where he lives or a few feet away. It is always on his doorstep.” 
    – Paul Strand
  • “God creates the beauty. My camera and I are a witness.”
    Mark Denman

funny photography quotes

  • “Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.”
    – Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • “Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”
    – Matt Hardy
  • “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.”
    – Lewis Hine
  •  “Photography has been my way of bearing witness to the joy I find in seeing the extraordinary in ordinary.”
    -Harold Feinstein
  • “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
    – Ansel Adams

free photographer quotes

  • “The camera is much more than a recording apparatus, it is a medium via which messages reach us from another world.”
    – Orson Welles
  • “I never have taken a picture I’ve intended. They’re always better or worse.”
    – Diane Arbus
  • “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…”
    – Eliott Erwitt
  • “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”
    – Susan Sontag
  • “The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer.”
    – Steven Pinker

Best_Photography_Quotes_Shotkit

  • “It’s amazing how photography can capture just a split second of something exquisite.”
    – Kiera Cass
  • “The camera sees more than the eye, so why not make use of it?”
    – Edward Weston
  • “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 the image, I live with them.”
    – Bruce Gilden
  • “Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.”
    – Martin Parr
  • “In photography, there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.”
    – August Sander

free quotes for photographers

  • “One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.”
    – Lisa Kristine
  • “My camera is my passport.”
    – Steve McCurry
  • .”Photography, to me, is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true.”
    – Jacques-Henri Lartigue
  • “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
  • “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

amazing photography quotes

  • “It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
    – Alfred Eisenstaedt
  • “I like to photograph others before they know what their best angles are.”
    – Ellen Von Unwerth
  • “We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
    – Ralph Hattersley
  • “Photography is an itch that won’t go away. No matter how much you scratch it.”
    – Dara McGrath
  • “Photography is the recording of strangeness and beauty with beguiling precision.”
    – Sebastian Smee

photography quotation images

  • “Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.”
    – Anon
  • “Only photograph what you love.”
    – Tim Walker
  •  The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”
    – Ernst Hass
  • “When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.”
    – Wynn Bullock
  • “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”
    – Dorothea Lange

cartier bresson quote

  •  “When the world asks, “what was it like?” Only the photographers can say, “See!”
    – Mark Denman
  • “Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease.”
    – Anon
  • “When a photo of a person looks deep into your spirit and tells you a thousand stories….. Stories from your past even before you existed, then the photo is way above any description.”
    – Sameh Elsayed
  • “I didn’t choose photography, photography chose me.”
    – Gerardo Suter
  • “With photography, a new language has been created. Now, for the first time, it is possible to express reality by reality. We can look at an impression as long as we wish, we can delve into it and, so to speak, renew past experiences at will.”
    – Ernst Haas

quotes by photographers

  • “Photography is a means by which we learn to see the ordinary.”
    – David Bailey
  • “Photography has no rules, it is not a sport. It is the result which counts, no matter how it is achieved.”
    – Bill Brandt
  • “Kodak sells film, but they don’t advertise film; they advertise memories.”
    – Theodore Levitt
  • “A photograph is like a recipe – the memory is the finished dish.”
    – Carrie Latet
  • “Contrast is what makes photography interesting.”
    – Conrad Hall

photographer quote for pinterest

  • “Every artist has a central story to tell, and the difficulty, the impossible task, is trying to present that story in pictures”
    – Gregory Crewdson
  • “I have always been fascinated by the poetic condition of twilight. By its transformative quality. Its power of turning the ordinary into something magical and otherworldly. “
    – Gregory Crewdson
  • “Skill in photography is acquired by practice, and not by purchase.”
    -Percy W. Harris
  • “You photograph with all your ideology.”
    – Sebastiao Salgado
  • “Your inspiration is better if it comes from many different sources and your sensibilities will transform all those influences and inspiration into your own visual world. It’s like reading the book instead of watching the movie.”
    – Peter Lindbergh
  • “The formula for doing a good job in photography is to think like a poet.”
    -Imogen Cunningham
  • “We see in colour all the time. Black and white is therefore immediately an interpretation of the world, rather than a copy.”
    – Michael Kenna
  • “The golden rule in the arts, as far as I am concerned, is that all rules are meant to be broken.”
    -Michael Kenna
  • “If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no shortcuts in photography.” 
    – Edward Weston
  • “After following the crowd for a while, I’d then go 180 degrees in the exact opposite direction. It always worked for me.”
    – Elliott Erwitt
  • “To me, photography must suggest, not insist or explain.” 
    – Brassai

Before You Go

So, what is your favorite among the inspirational photography quotes we shared?

Ours are those that deal with the way in which a viewer can perceive your photo. In photography, everything is, in a way, subjective, and yet objective at the same time. We like to call it a photography paradox.

Do share some additional photography sayings with us if we didn’t include them!

And lastly, don’t forget to add the hashtag #shotkit if you end up sharing them on Instagram!

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Mark Condon

Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer based in Australia and the founder of Shotkit.

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