Phrases famous photographers

Compilation of phrases said by photographers and/or related to photography(*). This compilation has been made after a search through Google, so if in any case it is not correct, please forgive me and let me know so that I can correct the error.

Note: Those authors who are not photographers will be marked with (*).

Alfred Eisenstaedt

It is more important to click with people than with the camera.

The most important thing is not the camera, but the eye.

Alfred Stieglitz

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

Wherever there is light, one can photograph.

Andre Kertesz

Seeing is not enough, you have to feel what you are photographing.

The alphabet is not important. The important thing is what you are writing, what you are expressing. The same goes for photography.

Anne Geddes

The best images are those that retain their strength and impact over the years, no matter how many times they are viewed.

The most difficult thing in photography is to be simple.

I believe that emotional content is the most important element of an image, regardless of the photographic technique.

Annie Leibovitz

Everyone has a point of view. Some people call it style, but what we're really talking about is the innards of a photograph. When you trust their point of view, that's when you start taking pictures.

Those who want to be serious photographers are really going to have to edit their work. You will have to understand what you are doing. And you're going to have to do more than just shoot, shoot, shoot. Stopping to look at your work is the most important thing you can do.

Antoine D´Agata

The important thing is not how the photographer looks at the world, but his intimate relationship with it.

Anton Corbjin

Limit your tools, focus on one thing and make it work… You become very inventive with the restrictions you impose on yourself.

Ansel Adams

There are always two people in each painting: the photographer and the viewer.

A good photograph is obtained by knowing where to stand.

There is nothing worse than the clear image of a fuzzy concept.

The most important component of a camera is the 12 inches behind it.

Photography with sincerity and effectiveness is to see below the surfaces.

You do not do photography only with the camera. You make it with all the images you've seen, with all the books you've read, with all the music you've heard, and with all the people you've loved.

A photograph is not taken, it is created.

There are no rules for good photographs, they are just good photographs.

Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of views, interpretations and executions.

Landscape photography is the photographer's supreme test, and often the supreme disappointment.

Arnold Newman

Many photographers think that if they buy a better camera they will be able to take better pictures. A better camera won't do anything for you if you have nothing in your head or in your heart.

Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.

Art Wolfe

Never stop looking, no matter where you are, there are good pictures everywhere.

Auguste Renoir

A photograph should be pleasant, cheerful and beautiful. There are already a lot of boring things in life.

The most important element in a photograph cannot be defined.

Berenice Abbott

The picture only can represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past.

There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it, you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own.

Photography helps people to see.

The challenge for me has been to first see things as they are, whether it's a portrait, a city street, or a ball. In a word, I have tried to be objective. I am not referring to the objectivity of a machine, but to that of a sensitive human being with his mysterious and personal criteria. The second challenge has been to impose order on the things I see, to provide the visual context and intellectual framework, which for me is the art of photography.

The photographer is the contemporary being par excellence; through his gaze, the now becomes the past.

I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do everything else. Enthusiasm about the subject is the voltage that pushes me over the mountain of servitude necessary to produce the final photograph.

Bill Brandt

No matter how much you play with colors or printing papers, nothing will transform an ordinary photograph into anything other than an ordinary photograph.

I am not interested in rules or conventions: photography is not a sport.

Bruno Barbey

One becomes a photographer when one has overcome the worries of learning and in one's hands the camera becomes an extension of oneself. Then the creativity begins.

Carl Mydans

Photography is the only language that can be understood and understood throughout the world.

Cecil Beaton

You can't teach people to take pictures, they have to learn it the best way possible. They can learn by looking at pictures... but they don't really engage with the medium until they've gotten some bad shots.

Charles Harbutt

A photograph is a collision between a person with a camera and reality. The photograph is usually as interesting as the collision.

Cristina García Rodero

In order to take a photo I need to get excited.

Photography is a struggle. The enemy is time and you win when you manage to freeze it at the right moment, preventing something that speaks about you and what is happening from dying and disappearing forever.

David Alan Harvey

Don't shoot what it looks like, shoot what it transmits.

David Bailey

It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. It takes less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things, but in photography... It takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.

David Burnett

The satisfaction comes from working alongside 500 photographers and coming out with something different.

David Hurn

The most important piece of equipment after the camera is a good pair of shoes. A writer can work from a hotel room, but a photographer has to be there, so he has to walk a lot.

David Lachapelle

The key is to photograph your obsessions; whether they are the hands of older people or skyscrapers. Think about a blank canvas, because that's what you have, and then think about what you want to see, no one else.

David duChemin

The cliché is not in what you shoot but in how you shoot it.

Diane Arbus

The more specific you are, the more general it will be.

A photo has never turned out the way I wanted. I always get better or worse.

If I was only motivated by curiosity, it would be difficult to tell someone: 'I want to go to your house so you can talk to me and tell me your life story.' People would say: 'She's crazy.' Furthermore, she would be on guard. But the camera is a kind of license. Many people want that much attention, and it's a reasonable kind of attention, too.

Don McCullin

Photography for me is not looking, it is feeling. If you can't feel what you're looking at, then you'll never make others feel anything when they look at your photos.

Dorothea Lange

Knowing in advance what you're looking for means you're only photographing your own preconceived ideas, which is very limiting and often false.

Photography takes a moment out of time. altering life and keeping it that way.

Eddie Adams

If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it tears your heart out, that's a good photograph.

Edward Steichen

A portrait is not made in the camera but on each side of it.

Photography records the range of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion that man has created. It is an important force to explain man to man.

Edward Weston

Consulting the rules of composition before taking a photograph is like consulting the law of gravity before going for a walk.

Ellen von Unwerth

The technique certainly helps make photography magical, but I prefer to work with the atmosphere.

Elliott Erwitt

Photography is the art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. I've realized that it has little to do with the things you see and a lot to do with how you see them.

Most photographers work best alone, myself included.

All the technique in the world does not make up for the inability to realize something.

Emmet Gowin

Photography is a tool for dealing with things that everyone knows but nobody pays attention to. My photographs are intended to represent something that you do not see.

Ernst Haas

The limitations of photography lie within oneself, because what we see is what we are. If beauty were not in us, how could we recognize it?

The best images are differentiated by nuances... A small relationship, be it a harmony or a discrepancy, creates an image.

Eugène Atget

A good photograph is like a good bloodhound, silly but eloquent.

Eugene Smith

I didn't write the rules, why would I follow them?

Fay Godwin

Look at lots of exhibits and books, and don't get hung up on cameras and technical stuff. Photography is about images.

I like photographs that leave something for the imagination. Photography is about images.

Franz Kafka (*)

We photograph objects to get them out of our minds.

Frans Lanting

I believe that a photograph, of whatever it is (a landscape, a person...) requires a personal participation. That means getting to know your subject, not just criticizing what's in front of you.

Fred Mc Cullin

Photography cannot change reality, but it can show it.

Garry Winogrand

If I saw something through my headset that looked familiar, I would do something to change it.

Photography is not about what is photographed. It's all about how that thing looks photographed.

Photography is about discovering what can happen in the frame. When you put four borders around some facts, you change those facts.

George Eastman

The light makes the photograph. Embrace the light. Admire her. Love her. But above all, she knows the light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

Gisèle Freund

Ten photographers in front of the same matter produce ten different images, since although it is true that photography translates the real, it is revealed according to the eye with which it is looked at.

The culture of a photographer is much more important than the technique.

Gordon Parks

If you have nothing to say, your photos won't say much.

Guy Le Querrec

A photographer is an acrobat treading on the thread of chance, trying to capture shooting stars.

Harry Callahan

I think I have shot about 40,000 negatives and of those I have about 800 photos that I like.

Helmut Newton

The first ten thousand shots are the worst.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

I am not interested in photography, but in life.

To photograph is to place the head, the eye and the heart on the same axis.

During the work, you must be sure that you have not left any holes, that you have captured everything, because later it will be too late.

For me, the camera is a sketchbook, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.

Photography is not taken by force. She takes herself. It is the photograph that takes you.

The photographer cannot be a passive spectator, he cannot be truly lucid if he is not involved in the event.

Your first 10,000 photographs will be your worst photographs.

Photography is, at the same moment, the simultaneous recognition of the significance of a fact and the rigorous organization of the visually perceived forms that express and signify that fact.

A portrait is not a likeness. At the same moment that an emotion or a fact becomes a photograph, it stops being a fact and becomes an opinion. There is no inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them are the truth.

Imogen Cunningham

Which one of my photos is my favorite? One that I am going to do tomorrow.

The formula for doing a good job in photography is to think like a poet.

Irving Penn

Photographing a cake can be art.

Jamel Shabazz

I've had a conversation with most of the people I've taken pictures of. ‘What are your goals and aspirations?’ ‘What is it about?’ It’s not just me capturing the image, I want to know what it is about.

James Nachtwey

It is very difficult to say where you are going until you arrive. Those kinds of things are very much based on instinct. As a photographer, one of the most important lessons I learned is that you must learn to listen and trust your own instincts. He has helped guide me, at least for now.

Jeanloup Sieff

A good portrait is the relationship established between two people, there has to be someone in front of the camera and someone behind.

Jean Gaumy

Taking photographs is like fishing or writing. It is making the unknown that resists or refuses come to light.

John Stuart Mill (*)

Photography is a brief complicity between foresight and chance.

Joe McNally

Technology has eliminated the basement darkroom and the entire notion of photography as an intense labor of obsessive love and replaced them with a sense of immediacy and instant gratification.

I can't tell you how many photos I've missed, ignored, stepped on, or for any other reason, just because I was hell-bent on getting the shot I thought I wanted.

Joel Meyerowitz

Photography is a response that has to do with the momentary recognition of things. Suddenly you are alive. A minute later there is no one. I just watched it evaporate. You look at one moment and there is everything, the next moment it is gone. Photography is very philosophical.

Justin y Mary Marantz

How about we start taking pictures of people and stop taking pictures of poses?

Lee Miller

It seems to me that women have a better chance of success in photography than men... Women are faster and more adaptable. I think they have an intuition that helps them understand personalities more quickly than men.

Leonard Freed

Photography is like life, what does it mean? I don't know, but it leaves an impression, a feeling, I distrust people who know what life means.

Lynsey Addario

People are aware of the power of a camera, and this instinctively makes most feel uncomfortable and rigid. But they taught me to stay in one place long enough, without taking pictures, for people to feel comfortable with me and the presence of the camera.

Maggie Steber

The pitfall of photography is that you may end up looking at everything through a camera, instead of seeing it for yourself. The visor isolates you. When you look through one you are removing everything else from your vision. The camera can open many doors, but sometimes it is necessary to put it aside and live.

Man Ray

Of course, there will always be those who only look at the technique, who ask 'how', while others, of a more curious nature, ask 'why'. Personally I have always preferred inspiration to information.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo

The main instrument of a photographer is his eyes. Strangely enough, many photographers choose to use another photographer's eyes, whether past or present, instead of their own. These photographers are blind.

If the impossible has not yet been achieved, we have not fulfilled our duty.

Marc Riboud

Taking photos is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.

Mario Testino

My favorite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. If you are curious, you create opportunities, and if you open the doors you create possibilities.

Martin Schoeller

A photographic close-up is perhaps the purest form of portraiture, creating a confrontation between viewer and subject that daily interaction makes impossible, or at least impolite.

Mary Ellen Mark

When you take a shot you are being selective, then you edit the images you want to publish and you are selective again. You develop a point of view that you want. You try to go into a situation with an open mind, but then you form an opinion and express it in your photographs.

Milan Kundera (*)

Memory does not keep films, keeps photographs.

Minor White

I'm always mentally photographing everything to practice.

We can teach photography as a way of making a living, but what we have to achieve is for students to see it as a way of life.

Ouka Leele

No one escapes the fascination that photography produces, it is like a magic box.

Photography is not as easy as people sometimes think. When they ask you for a photo, they demand that you hurry up, they think it's just about shooting and that's it. A good photo takes a lot of time, for me it is like filming a scene from a movie.

You have to do whatever you want, whatever comes out to you every day. Your style is you.

Paul Strand

Photography is a medium where if you don't shoot often you don't shoot at all, because things don't happen twice. A rock will probably always be more or less exactly as you saw it yesterday. But other things change, they're not always there the day after or the week after.

Your photograph is a record of your life, for anyone who will actually see.

It's one thing to photograph people. It's another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanity.

Percy W. Harris

Skill in photography is acquired by practice, and not by purchasing.

Peter Lindbergh

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that secures your goal and your imaginative vision against the safe players, the common creatures, the slaves of the ordinary.

The photographer, even in fashion and portraiture, has to have a point of view. It's important to know what he stands for, right? Most people just take photos that don't represent anything. They follow the trends and don't know why.

Pete Turner

Ultimately, simplicity is the goal in all artwork, and achieving simplicity is one of the hardest things to do; however, it is the most essential.

Remy Donnadieu

What photography reproduces to infinity only takes place once.

Photography is the literature of the eye.

Richard Avedon

My portraits say more about me than about the people I photograph.

If a day goes by without me doing something related to photography, it's like I've neglected something essential to my existence.

If each photograph steals a little of your soul, isn't it possible that I am leaving parts of my soul behind every time I take a photograph?

Robert Adams

No place is boring, if you slept well and have a pocket full of unused film rolls.

Robert Capa

If your photographs are not good enough it is because you are not close enough.

You don't need to resort to tricks to take photos. You don't have to pose anyone in front of the camera. The photos are there, waiting for you to take them. The truth is the best photography, the best propaganda.

Robert Doisneau

You should let the person looking at the photo do something to finish it off. You should offer them a seed that will grow and open their minds.

Robert Farber

If you want to take good photographs, the camera has to be a second skin for you. Devoting too much attention to technical decisions can interfere with your creative processes.

Robert Frank

The important thing is to see what is invisible to others.

No place is boring, if you slept well and have a pocket full of unused film rolls.

The eye must learn to listen before looking.

When people look at my photos I want them to feel like they want to read a line of a poem a second time.

Robert Mapplethorpe

I ventured into the world of photography because it seemed to be the perfect vehicle to critique the madness of today's world.

Roland Barthes (*)

What photography reproduces ad infinitum only happens once.

Ruth Bernhard

Never spend too much time on one thing, because your soul is in that image.

Sergio Larrain

A good image is born from a state of grace. This manifests itself when one is freed from conventions, free as a child in his first discovery of reality. The game is to arrange the triangle.

Steve MacCurry

The fact that people use Instagram and take photos with mobile phones does not mean that the images are meaningful, in the same way that a text that someone sends to a friend is not great literature. Is it something that will last? Will it inspire us?

If you know how to wait, people will forget about your camera and then their soul will come out.

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

Susan Sontag

To photograph is to appropriate what is photographed.

It is not entirely correct when we say that there are bad photographs. There are less interesting images, less revealing and less mysterious.

Today everything exists to culminate in a photograph.

Photography, which has so many narcissistic uses, is also a powerful instrument to depersonalize our relationship with the world; and both uses are complementary.

The painter builds, the photographer reveals.

Trent Parke

I am always chasing the light. Light turns the ordinary into magic.

Terence Donovan

The magic of photography is metaphysical. What you see in her is not what you saw at the time. The true skill of photography is the organized visual lie.


For me, a photograph is a page of life, and that is the question, it must be real.

William Albert Allard

You have to ask more of yourself. You have to start looking for photographs that no one else can take. You have to take your tools and go further.

William Klein

A good photo must contain feeling.

Be yourself. I'd rather see something, even if it's clunky, that doesn't look like someone else's work.

Wynn Bullock

When I'm taking photos, what I'm really doing is looking for answers to things.

W. Eugene Smith

Photography could be that dim light that modestly helps us change things.

What is the point of having a great depth of field, if there is no adequate depth of feeling?

Yann Arthus Bertrand

In photography, it is not the photographer who is important.

Yousuf Karsh

There is a brief moment in which everything that is in the mind and soul of man is reflected in the spirit through his eyes, his hands and his attitude. That is the time to shoot.

The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.