Edward Abbey

„Our job is to record, each in his own way, this world of light and shadow and time that will never come again exactly as it is today.”


Berenice Abbott

“The photographer is the contemporary being par excellence; through his eyes the now becomes 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.”

“Let us first say what photography is not. A photograph is not a painting, a poem, a symphony, a dance. It is not just a pretty picture, not an exercise in contortionist techniques and sheer print quality. It is or should be a significant document, a penetrating statement, which can be described in a very simple term – selectivity.”

“Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past.”

“Photography helps people to see.”

“What the human eye observes causally and incuriously, the eye of the camera notes with relentless fidelity.”

“The more you do, the more you realize there is to do, what a vast object the metropolis is, and how the work of photographing could go on forever.”

“Photography can never grow up if it imitates some other medium. It has to walk alone; it has to be itself.”

“I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else. Excitement about the subject is the voltage which pushes me over the mountain of drudgery necessary to produce the final photograph.”


Ansel Adams

“When i’m ready to make a photograph, i see in my mind’s eyes something that is not literally there, in the true meaning of the word. I’m interesting in expressing something from within, rather than extracting from without.”

“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”

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

“There are worlds of experience beyond the world of the aggressive man, beyond history, and beyond science. The moods and qualities of nature and the revelations of great art are equally difficult to define; we can grasp them only in the depths of our perceptive spirit.”

“I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term -meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolor or etching – there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.”

“You don’t take a photograph. You make it.”

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.”

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”

„The so-called rules of photographic composition are, in my opinion, invalid, irrelevant and immaterial.”


Peter Adams

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.”


Timothy Allen

„To shoot poignant pictures we only need follow the path of our enthusiasm. I believe that this feeling is the universe’s way of telling us that we are doing the right thing. The viewing public will always disagree over the intrinsic merits of a particular photograph, but no one can deny the enthusiasm that originally inspired us to capture and offer that image to others.”


Omolara Aluko

„Photography is my ally, my medium of speaking non-verbally.”


Ralph Auletta

„After 40 years of ingesting every aspect of photographic science and composition, I still find the camera to be an endlessly intriguing partner that challenges my imagination and knowledge. All that with only 3 variables of shutter speed, aperture and focal length.”


Christophe Agou

„Looking and seeing are two different things. What matters is the relationship with the subject.”


Ignacio Aronovich

„Every time I see a crowd of photographers surrounding a subject my impulse is to go in the opposite direction.”


Nobuyoshi Araki

“Happiness always contains a mixture of something like unhappiness. When I photograph unhappiness I only capture unhappiness, but when I photograph happiness, life, death, and everything else comes through. Unhappiness seems grave and heavy; happiness is light, but happiness has its own heaviness, a looming sense of death.”

“Photography was destined to be involved with death. Reality is in color, but at its beginnings photography always discolored reality and turned it into black and white. Color is life, black and white is death. A ghost was hiding in the invention of photography.”

“A photographer who doesn’t photograph women is no photographer, or only a third—rate one. Meeting a woman anywhere teaches you more about the world than reading Balzac. Whether it be a wife, a woman encountered by happenstance, or a prostitute, she will teach you about the world.”

“Take the love out and it means nothing. There’s an aspect of photography that has nothing to do with whether a photo is shot with digital or conventional techniques, and the photographer must consider it.”


Diane Arbus

„Lately I’ve been struck with how I really love what you can’t see in a photograph.”

„I always thought of photography as a naughty thing to do — that was one of my favorite things about it, and when I first did it, I felt very perverse.”

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

„It’s important to take bad pictures. It’s the bad ones that have to do with what you`ve never done before. They can make you recognize something you hadn’t seen in a way that will make you recognize it when you see it again.”

„A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”

„There are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them.”

„I work from awkwardness. By that I mean I don’t like to arrange things. If I stand in front of something, instead of arranging it, I arrange myself.”

„One thing I would never photograph is a dog lying in the mud.”

„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.”


Eve Arnold

“You can’t make a great musician or a great photographer if the magic isn’t there.”

“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.”

“A studio session provides the greatest chance for control. But even though there is total freedom, I still dislike studio photography and the contrived images that usually stem from this genre.”


Eugene Atget

„A good photograph is like a good hound dog, dumb, but eloquent.”


Richard Avedon

“A portrait photographer depends upon another person to complete his picture. The subject imagined, which in a sense is me, must be discovered in someone else willing to take part in a fiction he cannot possibly know about.”

“I’ve worked out of a series of no’s. No to exquisite light, no to apparent compositions, no to the seduction of poses or narrative. And all these no’s force me to the ‘yes.’ I have a white background. I have the person I’m interested in and the thing that happens between us.”

„I don’t really remember the day when I stood behind my camera with Henry Kissinger on the other side. I am sure he doesn’t remember it either. But this photograph is here now to prove that no amount of kindness on my part could make this photograph mean exactly what he.. or even I.. wanted it to mean. It’s a reminder of the wonder and terror that is a photograph.”

“My portraits are more about me then they are about the people I photograph?

“I often feel that people come to me to be photographed as they would go to a doctor or a fortune teller – to find out how they are.”

“If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.”

„A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion.”

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

“I know that the accident of my being a photographer has made my life possible.”

“Photography has always reminded me of the second child, trying to prove itself. The fact that it wasn’t really considered an art… that is was considered a craft… has trapped almost every serious photographer.”


Cecil Beaton

“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.”


Bill Brandt

“A good nude photograph can be erotic, but certainly not sentimental or pornographic.”

“I am not very interested in extraordinary angles. They can be effective on certain occasions, but I do not feel the necessity for them in my own work. Indeed, I feel the simplest approach can often be most effective. A subject placed squarely in the centre of the frame, if attention is not distracted from it by fussy surroundings, has a simple dignity which makes it all the more impressive.”

„A photographer must be prepared to catch and hold on to those elements which give distinction to the subject or lend it atmosphere. They are often momentary, chance-sent things: a gleam of light on water, a trail of smoke from a passing train, a cat crossing a threshold, the shadows cast by a setting sun. Sometimes they are a matter of luck; the photographer could not expect or hope for them. Sometimes they are a matter of patience, waiting for an effect to be repeated that he has seen and lost or for one that he anticipates. Leaving out of question the deliberately posed or arranged photograph, it is usually some incidental detail that heightens the effect of a picture – stressing a pattern, deepening the sense of atmosphere. But the photographer must be able to recognize instantly such effects.”



“For me the criterion of a good photograph is that it is unforgettable.”

“We should try, without creasing to tear ourselves constantly by leaving our subjects and even photography itself from time to time, in order that we may come back to them with reawakened zest, with the virginal eye. That is the most precious thing we can possess.”


David Bailey

“If you try to get famous you won’t, but if you don’t care you probably will. You’ve got to stick to your guns, too, because once you back down you’re finished. The drawback of being famous is you get criticised for your fame rather than your work. People judge your lifestyle, not what you do. There used to be a lot of resentment if you had flash cars and beautiful women.”


Paul Caponigro

“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.”


Henri Cartier-Bresson

Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.

„Sharpness is a bourgeois concept.”

„The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and Weston are photographing rocks!”

„Think about the photo before and after, never during. The secret is to take your time. You mustn’t go too fast. The subject must forget about you. Then, however, you must be very quick.”

„Photography is only intuition, a perpetual interrogation – everything except a stage set.”

“Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you’ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.”

“Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should? While we’re working, we must be conscious of what we’re doing. Sometimes we have the feeling that we’ve taken a great photo, and yet we continue to unfold. We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.”

“The picture is good or not from the moment it was caught in the camera.”

“Pictures, regardless of how they are created and recreated, are intended to be looked at. This brings to the forefront not the technology of imaging, which of course is important, but rather what we might call the eyenology (seeing).”

“To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It’s a way of life.”

„Above all, I craved to seize the whole essence, in the confines of one single photograph, of some situation that was in the process of unrolling itself before my eyes.”

„Actually, I’m not all that interested in the subject of photography. Once the picture is in the box, I’m not all that interested in what happens next. Hunters, after all, aren’t cooks.”

„During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you`ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.”

„In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.”

„Memory is very important, the memory of each photo taken, flowing at the same speed as the event. During the work, you have to be sure that you haven’t left any holes, that you`ve captured everything, because afterwards it will be too late.”

„Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”

„Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.”

„The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box.”

„The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.”

„The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.”

„Think about the photo before and after, never during. The secret is to take your time. You mustn’t go too fast. The subject must forget about you. Then, however, you must be very quick.”

„It is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organisation of forms which gives that event its proper expression.”

„To photograph is to hold one`s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”

„To take photographs means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second – both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one`s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis.”

„We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.”


Edouard Boubat

“Was it the same light that enchanted the first photographers? It is the same, and it is still brand new – it is something that never wears out.”

“The most important thing is to go out and see the stars, not to see them in books.”

“In a photo there are always too many things, except when it’s a good photo. To speak specifically of my own work I believe that, from the very beginning, I managed to make photos where there was nothing more than what was needed”.


Anton Corbijn

“Photography has taken me from isolation.”


Imogen Cunningham

„Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I‘m going to take tomorrow.”


Robert Doiseanu

„There are days when simply seeing feels like happiness itself. You feel so rich, the elation seems almost excessive and you want to share it.”

„I know every step of the way from Montrouge to the Porte de Clignancourt. I cant go 400 yards without coming across someone I know: I bistrot-owner, a carpenter, a printer, a painter or just someone off the street. (…) Paris is a theatre where you book your set by wasting time. And I’m still waiting.”

„One of the great joys of my career has been to see and speak to people I don’t know. Very often these simple people are the sweetest souls and generate an atmosphere of poetry by themselves… I have often take photos of people just standing still, people willing to be taken who stare into the lens. I realized these people so simply portrayed were often more eloquent like that than caught in mid-gesture. It leaves the onlooker space to imagine.”


Arnold Drapkin

„The most important attribute a photographer can have is enthusiasm.”


Alfred Eisenstaedt

„Keep it simple. ”

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

“It is more important to click with people than to click with the shutter.”


Elliott Erwitt

“You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.”

“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times. I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.”

You don’t need to see the whole person to produce a portrait that feels revealing, personal and intimate. Sometimes, a suggestion or a small detail may fuel the imagination, taking the picture away from being a simple description and making it more real and significant.

„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.”


Andreas Feininger

„A alege subiectul inseamna de fapt a vedea nu numai cu ochii, ci si cu mintea. Sa vezi in mod creator, imaginativ… Sa vezi intr-un subiect ceva ce trebuie fotografiat, ceva ce nimeni n-a mai aratat inainte. Un sens nou, o nostiune noua, un punct de vedere nou, descoperit cu puterea imaginatiei. Imaginatia este puterea de a crea a mintii.”

“O idee in sine nu poate fi fotografiata. Ea poate fi insa comunicata altora prin fotografii, cu conditia sa fi fost corect tradusa intr-o forma vizuala. Daca ideea este corect tradusa, nu pierde nimic din intelesul ei. Daca este tradusa incorect, intelesul ei este partial schimbat, sau se pierde. Pentru a putea traduce o idee intr-o forma concret-vizuala, fotograful trebuie sa fie in stare nu numai sa vizualizeze imaginile inainte de a le reproduce (…), dar si sa aiba in vedere ca astfel de imagini sa vizeze intelegerea si efectul asupra privitorului: ideea originala va fi comunicata in mod clar, sau va fi inteleasa gresit? Fotografia inseamna ceva? Dovedeste ceva? Daca da, atunci fa-o; daca nu – uit-o.”

(Fotograful creator)

„Unless a subject interests me, I’ll pass it over and save my film for better things.”


Robert Frank

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a poem twice”.


Guy Gagnon

„Make pictures that appeal to you first, and then to others. It is the only way to stay true to yourself, while developing your unique style.”


Ted Grant

„When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls.”


Nan Goldin

“A lot of people seem to think that art or photography is about the way things look, or the surface of things. That’s not what it’s about for me. It’s really about relationships and feelings…it’s really hard for me to do commercial work because people kind of want me to do a Nan Goldin. They don’t understand that it’s not about a style or a look or a setup. It’s about emotional obsession and empathy.”


Ernst Haas

“A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?”

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”

“All I wanted was to connect my moods with those of Paris. Beauty pains and when it pained most, I shot.”

“The best zoom lens is your legs.”


Yousuf Karsh

“The trouble with photographing beautiful women is that you never get into the dark room until they’ve gone.”

“There is a brief moment when all there is in a man’s mind, soul and spirit is reflected through his eyes, his hands and his attitude. This is the moment to record.”

“Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.”

„Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can.”


Andre Kertesz

“Of course a picture can lie, but only if you are not honest with yourself…”

“You do not have to imagine things; reality gives you all you need.”

“A photographer must learn to photograph everything. I see new things every day”


Julie Adair King

„You’ve probably heard the axiom, “It’s a poor carpenter who blames his tools.” The same can be said for photographers. If a picture turns out poorly, the fault rarely lies with the camera, contrary to what those of us who pursue photography for a living would like to have you believe. In skilled hands, a cheap point-and-shoot camera can turn out images that are every bit as captivating as those that come from a studio camera costing thousands of dollars.”


Joseph Koudelka

“It never seemed important to me that my photos be published. It’s important that I take them. There were periods where I didn’t have money, and I would imagine that someone would come to me and say: “Here is money, you can go do your photography, but you must not show it.” I would have accepted right away. On the other hand, if someone had come to me saying: “Here is money to do your photography, but after your death it must be destroyed”, I would have refused.”

„If you photograph people, all of the time you are running after something and you are losing all the time. With landscapes you are waiting all the time. It is much more relaxing.”


David Hume Kennerly

“Shoot shoot shoot.” (when asked for an advice by a young photographer)


Dorothea Lange

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

“Bring the viewer to your side. Include him in your thought. He is not a bystander. You have the power to increase his perceptions and conceptions.”

“One should really use the camera as though tomorrrow you’d be stricken blind.”

“The best way to go into unknown territory is to go in ignorant.”

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”


David LaChapelle

„People say photographs don’t lie, mine do.”


Annie Leibovitz

“I still need the camera because it is the only reason anyone is talking to me.”

“If I didn’t have my camera to remind me constantly, I am here to do this, I would eventually have slipped away, I think. I would have forgotten my reason to exist.”

“I was scared to do anything in the studio because it felt so claustrophobic. I wanted to be somewhere where things could happen and the subject wasn’t just looking back at you.”

“People buy ideas, they don’t buy photographs.”


Arnold Newman

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

“I am interested in what motivates individuals, what they do with their lives, their personalities, and how I perceive and interpret them. But of equal importance, or of perhaps even greater importance is that, even if the person is not known or already forgotten, the photograph itself should still be of interest or even excite the viewer. That is what my life and work is all about.”

“We do not take pictures with our cameras, but with our hearts and minds.”


Helmut Newton

„The first 10 000 shots are the worst.”

“My advice for the young? There are two dirty words in photography; one is ‘art’, and the other is ‘good taste’. Beauty is intellect and glamour has nothing to do with money.”

„It’s that I don’t like white paper backgrounds. A woman does not live in front of white paper. She lives on the street, in a motor car, in a hotel room.”

„I hate good taste. It’s the worst thing that can happen to a creative person.”

„Some people`s photography is an art. Not mine. Art is a dirty word in photography. All this fine art crap is killing it, already.”

„A favorite shot of mine is one of a woman wearing Bulgari jewels and stuffing a chicken. Needless to say, Bulgari thought it was a terrible thing for me to do with their jewels.”

„My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain.”

“Look, I’m not an intellectual – I just take pictures.”


Don McCullin

“Photography isn’t about seeing, it’s about feeling. If I don’t have some kind of feeling for what I’m shooting, how can I expect the person who looks at it to feel anything?”


Robert Mapplethorpe

“I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before.”

“I am obsessed with beauty. I want everything to be perfect, and of course it isn’t. And that’s a tough place to be because you’re never satisfied.”

“My approach to photographing a flower is not much different than photographing a ***. Basically, it’s the same thing.”

“If I am at a party, I want to be at the party. Too many photographers use the camera to avoid participating in things. They become professional observers.”

“l never liked photography. Not for the sake of photography. I like the object. I like the photographs when you hold them in your hand.”


Sally Mann

“Like all photographers, I depend on serendipity, and when you’re photographing children there’s often an abundance of it. I would have an idea of what a photograph would look like and then something would happen- a dog might lumber in and become a critical element. I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance.”

„…photographs open doors into the past but they also allow a look into the future.”


Sarah Moon

“I’ve always felt that photography provides an opportunity for staging, for telling a story through images. What I aim at, is an image with a minimum of information and markers, that has no reference to a given time or place – but that nevertheless speaks to me, that evokes something which happened just before or may happen just after.”



“The portrait I do best is of the person I know best.”


Anais Nin

“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.”


Gordon Parks

“Everyone must face the problems of humanity. My way of facing these issues is through photography. It is important because it can show, without needing words, everything that is wrong and [that] can be improved.”


Irving Penn

“Photographing a cake can be art.”

“What I really try to do is photograph people at rest, in a state of serenity.”

“I myself have always stood in the awe of the camera. I recognize it for the instrument it is, part Stradivarius, part scalpel.”

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


Eliot Porter

„Sometimes you can tell a large story with a tiny subject.”


Herb Ritts

“It’s important to let your subjects be themselves.”

For me, the most important thing I learned was just honing my eye. I think I had a good eye.”

„I always enjoyed art history because, growing up in California, my exposure was limited, and it was a new experience. To learn the history of art opened up certain things to me, made me see. It intrigued me.”

„I like form and shape and strength in pictures.”

„I think a lot of the time these days people are so concerned about having the right camera and the right film and the right lenses and all the special effects that go along with it, even the computer, that they`re missing the key element.”

„I’d go down to the end of my street, to a garage that had a certain feeling about it, or a particular light; I’d take a picture of a friend who needed a head shot. That’s how I learned, instead of having school assignments and learning camera techniques.”

„Regardless of whether you speak the language or are familiar with a culture, the picture should hold up.”

„Well, I liked it – that was the main thing. I liked it, but I didn‘t think of it in terms of a career. I didn`t really know; I didn’t really think about it. One thing just led to another until finally I quit my job as a salesman and found myself working as a photographer.”

„When you start out, you’re not really aware. I didn`t have a sense of photographic history.”


Ken Rockwell

“Why is it that photographers loaded with the most extraordinary gear who use the internet to get the exact GPS coordinates of Jack’s or Ansel’s photo locations and hike out there with the image in hand to ensure an exact copy (illegal by US copyright laws and common decency), that they get something that might look similar, but lacks all the impact and emotion of the original they thought they copied?

I’m not kidding. A bunch of these turkeys used university astronomers to predict the one time in almost two decades that the conditions would match and had 300 of the clueless converge at just the right spot. They still didn’t get the clouds, snow or shadows right. This makes Ansel or any other creative artist cringe. Of course they didn’t get anything like what they wanted. Art is a lot more.

Compelling photographs come from inspiration, not duplication.

Someone asked ‘If I got a camera with only 6 or 7 MP, can I make good pictures with it?’

That reminds me about the guy who breaks a wrist and asks his doctor: ‘Doctor, will I be able to play the piano after this heals?’ The doctor replies ‘Absolutely, no problem!’ The man laughs, and points out that that’s great, because he never could play the piano before!

Buying a Bösendorfer doesn’t mean you can play the piano. Buying a great camera doesn’t mean you can create compelling photographs. Good pianists can play on anything and a good photographer can make great images with a disposable camera.”

(Good pianists can play on anything)


August Sander

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

„I never made a person look bad. They do that themselves. The portrait is your mirror. It’s you.”


Sebastiao Salgado

“You photograph with all your ideology.”

“We are all one people — we are probably all one man.”


Cindy Sherman

“If I knew what the picture was going to be like I wouldn’t make it. It was almost like it was made already… the challenge is more about trying to make what you can’t think of.”

“When I do work, I get so much done in such a concentrated time that once I’m through a series, I’m so drained I don’t want to get near the camera.”


Aaron Siskind

“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.”


Edward Steichen

“Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things.”

“The use of the term art medium is, to say the least misleading, for it is the artist that creates a work of art not the medium.”

„Photography records the gamut 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 a major force in explaining man to man.”

“No photographer is as good as the simplest camera.”


Ralph Steiner

“There are only two things hard in photography; which way to point the camera and when to release the shutter.”


Bert Stern

“When a portrait evokes a feeling, then you’ve got something. Technique isn’t really important. What I want is a believeable moment.”

“You know, the Chinese don’t like to be photographed because they believe that a part of their life is being taken away by the photographer. And in a way, they’re right. The photographer is trying to get the prettiest moment of a life in his camera.”

“Women especially ask me to take their pictures, because they think I’ll make them beatuful.”


Alfred Stieglitz

“The fight for photography became my life.”

“If the artist could describe in words what he does, then he never would have created it.”

“Let me here call attention to one of the most universally popular mistakes that have to do with photography – that of classing supposedly excellent work as professional, and using the term amateur to convey the idea of immature productions and to excuse atrociously poor photographs.

As a matter of fact nearly all the greatest work is being, and has always been done, by those who are following photography for the love of it, and not merely for financial reasons. As the name implies, an amateur is one who works for love; and viewed in this light the incorrectness of the popular classification is readily apparent.”


Victor Skrebneski

„Portraits are the most intimate photographs. The image will survive the subject.”


Patrick Summerfield

„Black and white photography is a perfect lie. We must not let colour destroy this image.”


Gerardo Suter

„I didn’t choose photography. Photography chose me.”


Spencer Tunick

“For me, the nude body is like a raw material.. another artist might use oil or clay. I love the fact that, en masse, it can be turned into an infinite number of shapes or abstractions, while the setting I cho0se.. rural, urban, indoors or out… is like a canvas.”

“I’m in between an installation artist, video artist and photographer. And when you work with nude bodies, you’re immediately called a pornographer or a fashion photographer.”

“What a moment for the Mexican art scene. I think all eyes are looking south from the United Sates to Mexico City to see how a country can be free and treat the naked body as art. Not as pornography or as a crime, but with happiness and caring” (said after a successful event in Mexico that attracted more than 17,000 people to take off their clothes for a Tunick photo).

“It never ceases to amaze me when ordinary people get into the spirit of what I’m doing. It’s pivotal to my art.”


Jerry Uelsmann

„I have gradually confused photography with life.”


Bruce Weber

“Most of the good-looking people I’ve met in my life are always wearing a hat pulled over their faces. They don’t look into the mirror, and they never expect anybody to find them attractive.”


Brett Weston

„The camera for an artist is just another tool. It is no more mechanical than a violin if you analyze it. Beyond the rudiments, it is up to the artist to create art, not the camera.”


Edward Weston

„If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner it is that there are no short cuts in photography.”

„The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer’s understanding of his subject and mastery of his process. ”

„Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”

„I see no reason for recording the obvious.”

„I was extravagant in the matter of cameras – anything photographic — I had to have the best. But that was to further my work. In most things I have gone along with the plainest – or without.”

„My own eyes are no more than scouts on a preliminary search, for the camera’s eye may entirely change my idea.”

„Now to consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk. Such rules and laws are deduced from the accomplished fact; they are the products of reflection.”

„Photography suits the temper of this age — of active bodies and minds. It is a perfect medium for one whose mind is teeming with ideas, imagery, for a prolific worker who would be slowed down by painting or sculpting, for one who sees quickly and acts decisively, accurately.”

„Photography to the amateur is recreation, to the professional it is work, and hard work too, no matter how pleasurable it may be.”

„There is nothing like a Bach fugue to remove me from a discordant moment”. Only Bach hold up fresh and strong after repeated playing. I can always return to Bach when the other records weary me.”


Clarence Hudson White

“I do not believe a photographer should go with a preconceived idea of what he is going to get. He should be moved by his subject. If he is not, he will become blind to the most beautiful aspects of nature.”


Gary Winogrand

“I have a burning desire to see what things look like photographed by me.”

“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.”

“For me the true business of photography is to capture a bit of reality (whatever that is) on film…if, later, the reality means something to someone else, so much the better.”

“There are no photographs while I’m reloading.” (when asked how he felt about missing photographs while he reloaded his camera with film.)


Minor White

“Let the subject generate its own photographs. Become a camera.”

“All photographs are selfportraits.”


What other creators have to say about photography


Pablo Picasso

“Photography has developed in a way that it can liberate painting from the literairy, the anecdotical and even from the subject. Why would the painters not use this freedom and do other things.”


Andy Warhol

„The best thing about a Picture is that it never changes, even when the People in it do.”


Vilem Flusser (philosopher)

„Făcătorul de poze se deosebește de fotograf prin bucuria care o are față de complexitatea structurală a jucăriei sale. În opoziție cu fotograful și cu jucătorul de șah, el nu caută noi mutări, informație, improbabil, ci vrea, grație unei mereu mai perfecte automatizări, să simplifice tot mai mult funcțiile ei. Automatismul, lipsit de transparență pentru el, al aparatului de fotografiat îl îmbată. Cluburile de fotoamatori sunt locuri de îmbătare cu complexitatea structurală a aparatului, locuri, grote postindustriale de fumat opium.”

„Redusă la minimum, intenția fotografului este aceasta: mai întâi să închidă în imagini conceptele sale despre lume. În al doilea rând, să se servească de un aparat pentru a face aceasta. În al treilea rând, să arate altora imaginile astfel constituite, ca să le poată servi ca modele pentru trăire, cunoaștere, valori și acțiuni. În al patrulea rând, să facă aceste modele atât de durabile pe cât este posibil. Pe scurt: intenția fotografului este să-i informeze pe ceilalți și să se facă nemuritor în amintirea celorlalți prin fotografiile sale.”

(Pentru o filozofie a fotografiei, Ed. Idea, Col. Balkon, 2003)

John Berger (art critic)

„What makes photography a strange invention – with unforeseeable consequences – is that its primary raw materials are light and time.”


Brenda Ueland (journalist, editor, freelance writer and teacher of writing)

“I learned… that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.”


George Bernard Shaw

“The camera can represent flesh so superbly that, if I dared, I would never photograph a figure without asking that figure to take its clothes off.”


Orson Welles

„A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.”


Paul Gauguin

“Do you know what will soon be the ultimate in truth? — photography, once it begins to reproduce colors, and that won’t be long in coming. And yet you want an intelligent man to sweat for months so as to give the illusion he can do something as well as an ingenious little machine can!”


Heinrich Heine

“Photography is a witness against the wrong opnion that art is an imitation of nature.”


Sherlock Holmes

„Vezi, dar nu distingi.” (Către doctorul Watson)


Roland Barthes (philosopher)

„The first thing I found was this. What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially. In the Photograph, the event is never transcended for the sake of something else: the Photograph always leads the corpus I need back to the body I see; it is the absolute Particular, the sovereign Contingency, matte and somehow stupid, the This (this photograph, and not Photography) , in short, what Lacan calls the Tuche, the Occasion, the Encounter, the Real, in its indefatigable expression. In order to designate reality, Buddhism says sunya, the void; but better still: tathata, as Alan Watts has it, the fact of being this, of being thus, of being so; tat means that in Sanskrit and suggests the gesture of the child pointing his finger at something and saying:

that, there it is, lo! but says nothing else; a photograph cannot be transformed (spoken) philosophically, it is wholly ballasted by the contingency of which it is the weightless, transparent envelope. Show your photographs to someone-he will immediately show you his: “Look, this is my brother; this is me as a child,” etc.; the Photograph is never anything but an antiphon of “Look,” “See,” “Here it is”; it points a finger at certain vis-a-vis, and cannot escape this pure deictic language. This is why, insofar as it is licit to speak of a photograph, it seemed to me just as improbable to speak of the Photograph.”

„Very often (too often, to my taste) I have been photographed and knew it. Now, once I feel myself observed by the lens, everything changes: I constitute myself in the process of “posing,” I instantaneously make another body for myself, I transform myself in advance into an image. This transformation is an active one: I feel that the Photograph creates my body or mortifies it, according to its caprice (apology of this mortiferous power: certain Communards paid with their lives for their willingness or even their eagerness to pose on the barricades: defeated, they were recognized by Thiers’s police and shot, almost every one).”

(Camera Lucida. Reflections on Photography)



Compiled carefully by Bogdan Stanciu | www.noptialbe.net | www.whitenights.net