A picture is worth a thousands words, but words can be inspiring too. 🙂

  • A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart. – Arnold Newman
  • Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner. Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory. – Diane Arbus
  • Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. – Matt Hardy
  • Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera. – Yousuf Karsh
  • Remember that the person you are photographing is 50% of the portrait and you are the other 50%. You need the model as much as he or she needs you. If they don’t want to help you, it will be a very dull picture. – Lord Patrick Lichfield
  • I see something special and show it to the camera. The moment is held until someone sees it. Then it is theirs. – Sam Abell
  • When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. – Ansel Adams
  • 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
  • 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
  • Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. – Cecil Beaton
  • When I was on trips I used to put Polaroid’s in a container with sea water, sand and pebbles. I’d swirl it all around to get scratches. It’s this random element that I call ‘the drip’. It’s the drip which might splash onto the other side of the canvas when you’re working on a painting and make you think ‘that is good’, possibly leading you to explore other things. My whole life is spent in search of the drip; it can change everything. – David Bailey
  • 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
  • Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion…the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate. – Dorothea Lange
  • One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time. – Annie Leibovitz
  • Even though fixed in time, a photograph evokes as much feeling as that which comes from music or dance. Whatever the mode – from the snapshot to the decisive moment to multi-media montage – the intent and purpose of photography is to render in visual terms feelings and experiences that often elude the ability of words to describe. In any case, the eyes have it, and the imagination will always soar farther than was expected. – Ralph Gibson
  • Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information. – Man Ray
  • Above all, I know that life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love. It is important to see what is invisible to others. – Robert Frank
  • There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever. – Henri Cartier-Bresson
  • 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
  • Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow. – Imogen Cunningham
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Which of these quotes did you find the most inspiring? If you know of any other inspirational photography quotes, feel free to share them by commenting below.

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9 thoughts on “20 Famous Photography Quotes to Inspire You

  1. I have met Jay Maisel on several occasions and watched him work. Based upon my own experience I could not agree with him more!

  2. I’m a big Sam Abell fan. He uses the same two lenses I use (28mm & 90MM) for 90%+ of our pictures. His quote above is put in simplistic terms. I would add one quote, actually from me.

    “Judge the scene, judge the light, then judge yourself. Now you’re ready to snap the shutter”.

  3. “photography is an art, it has a soul but it depends on how you articulate it.

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