Welcome to the world’s largest photo quotation resource. These are not tired old quotes scammed from online sources and passed around like stale donuts at a committee meeting. This photo quote collection is the uniquely flavored creation of a single intelligence, not a group effort or a corporate product.


You’ll find thousands of fresh quotes on photography, with more added constantly. They’re hand-selected to inform, confound, and provoke. Browse photo quotes by author, of course, but you can also engage with the quotations by subject. In fact, the photo quotes are available in three clusters of subjects—Themes, Oppositions, and On Photography.  Plunge in. Get smart. Be challenged. Cause trouble.  —Quoteman

Rankin (John Rankin Waddell)
[Photographer, b. 1966, Glasgow, Scotland, lives in London.]

 At the end of the day, it’s only a photograph and if someone is going to get really upset about a photograph, then they have a lot of issues. I just roll with it and see what happens. 

Robert Frank
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1924, Zürich, Switzerland, lives in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, and New York.]

 I prefer to work on the edge, not the middle of the road. I am looking for chaos. 

Frank Horvat
[Photographer, b. 1928, Abbazia, Italy, now Opatija, Croatia, lives in Paris.]

 By trying many different approaches, you may slowly reach the point where you say more about yourself than about the objects or the landscapes or the people you photograph—and this is where photography really interests me. 

Richard Avedon
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 2004, San Antonio, Texas.]

 I think all art is about control—the encounter between control and the uncontrollable. 

Diane Arbus
[Photographer, b. 1923, New York, d. 1971, New York.]

 I don’t know what good composition is... Sometimes for me composition has to do with a certain brightness or a certain coming to restness and other times it has to do with funny mistakes. There’s a kind of rightness and wrongness and sometimes I like rightness and sometimes I like wrongness. 

John Szarkowski
[Curator, critic, historian, and photographer, b. 1925, Ashland, Wisconsin, d. 2007, Pittsfield, Massachusetts.]

 A beginning photographer hopes to learn to use the medium to describe the truth. The intelligent journeyman has learned that there is not enough film to do that. 

Hiroshi Sugimoto
[Photographer, b. 1948, Tokyo, lives in New York.]

 Before the invention of movies was the invention of photography. To make a movie, you have to sew single-shot photographic images together to make it look like a movie. It is all an illusion to the human eye. 

Richard Misrach
[Photographer, b. 1949, Los Angeles, lives in San Francisco.]

 In spite of recent trends towards fabricating photographic narratives, I find, more than ever, traditional photographic capture—the “discovery” of found narratives—deeply compelling.