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100 best photography quotes from famous photographers

51. "The more specific you are, the more general it’ll be.”
Diane Arbus

52. “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.”
Robert Capa

53. “By making a frame you’re being selective, then you edit the pictures you want published and you’re being selective again. You develop a point of view that you want to express. You try to go into a situation with an open mind, but then you form an opinion and you express it in your photographs.”
Mary Ellen Mark

54. “Limit your tools, focus on one thing, and just make it work… you become very inventive with the restrictions you give yourself.”
Anton Corbijn

55. “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

Jay Maisel

Jay Maisel (Image credit: BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

56. “You are responsible for every part of your image, even the parts you’re not interested in.”
Jay Maisel

57. “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/she is in for a hell of a lot of hiking.”
David Hurn

58. “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”
Henry Cartier-Bresson

59. “No amount of toying with shades of print or with printing papers will transform a commonplace photograph into anything other than a commonplace photograph.” Bill Brandt

60. “I’m so worried that I’m going to perfect [my] technique someday. I have to say it’s unfortunate how many of my pictures do depend upon some technical error.” Sally Mann

Best quotes on how to improve your photography

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz (Image credit: Paul Bergen/Redferns, Getty Images)

61. “Those who want to be serious photographers, you're really going to have to edit your work. You're going to have to understand what you're doing. You're going to have to not just shoot, shoot, shoot. To stop and look at your work is the most important thing you can do”
Annie Leibovitz

62. "If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff."
Jim Richardson

63. "Never stop looking, no matter where you are, everywhere there are good photographs."
Art Wolfe 

64. “You become technically proficient whether you want to or not, the more you take pictures.”
William Eggleston

65. “Look at lots of exhibitions and books, and don't get hung up on cameras and technical things. Photography is about images."
Fay Godwin

Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe (Image credit: Rose Hartman/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

66. “The more pictures you see, the better you are as a photographer.”
Robert Mapplethorpe

67. "One of the biggest mistakes photographers make is not having work that defines their interests and strengths. No one is going to hire you for what you say you like to do. You have to show them that you are capable of it first."
Ami Vitale 

68. "Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn't look like somebody else's work."
William Klein

69. “Chance is always there. We all use it. The difference is, a poor photographer meets chance one out of a hundred times and a good photographer meets chance all the time.”

70. "A photographer is an acrobat treading the high wire of chance, trying to capture shooting stars."
Guy Le Querrec 

Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh (Image credit: Peter Miller/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

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

72. “You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn’t waste either.”
Galen Rowell

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73. “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

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

Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman (Image credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

75. “To me, the face – the eyes, the expression of the mouth – is the thing that reflects character. It is the only part of the body that permits us to see the inner person.”
Philippe Halsman

76. “We all have a sort of mask of expression. You say goodbye, you smile, you are scared. I try to take all these masks away and little by little subtract until you have something pure left. A kind of abandon, a kind of absence.”
Paolo Roversi

77. “I never think about a shoot before I do it. Because there's no formula for people. What I try to do is to strip everything away rather than go in with preconceived notions. If I do that, I might miss a gem or a jewel that the person is offering me."

78. “People are aware of the power of a camera, and this instinctively makes most subjects uncomfortable and stiff. But Bebeto taught me to linger in a place long enough, without photographing, so that people grew comfortable with me and the camera’s presence.”
Lynsey Addario

79. "A good portrait is the rapport that is established between two people, there has to be someone in front of the camera and someone behind it."
Jeanloup Sieff

Albert Watson

Albert Watson (Image credit: David M. Benett/Getty Images for Pringle of Scotland)

80. "It doesn't matter if you're photographing a porter in a market in Marrakech or you're photographing the king of Morocco. You have the same sympathetic approach to everybody. You be nice to everybody, basically."
Albert Watson

81. "The majority of the people I've taken photographs of, I've had conversations with. 'What are your goals and aspirations?'. 'What are you about?' It's not just about me capturing the image; I want to know what you are about."
Jamel Shabazz 

82. “A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”
Edward Steichen

83. “The photographer, even in fashion and portraiture, has to have a standpoint. It's important to know what you stand for, no? Most people just take pictures but they stand for nothing. They follow trends and don't know why."
Peter Lindbergh

84. "I don’t need to know anything about the people I photograph, but it’s important that I recognise something about myself in them."
Rineke Dijkstra

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Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon (Image credit: Jack Mitchell, Getty Images)

85. “If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it’s as though I’ve neglected something essential to my existence.”
Richard Avedon

86. “Which of my photographs is my favourite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.”
Imogen Cunningham

87. "There's no dividing line between adventure and photography."
Chris Noble 

88. “There’s a time when people say your work is revolutionary, but you have to keep being revolutionary. I can’t keep shooting pop stars all my life. You have to keep changing, keep pushing yourself, looking for the new, the unusual.”

89. “One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind.”
Dorothy Lange 

Jacques-Henri Lartigue

Jacques-Henri Lartigue (Image credit: Drees/Getty Images)

90. "Photography is something you learn to love very quickly. I know that many, many things are going to ask me to have their pictures taken and I will take them all."
Jacques-Henri Lartigue

91. “I think if I ever get satisfied, I’ll have to stop. It’s the frustration that drives you.” Eve Arnold

To the point: Best short quotes on photography

92. "Only photograph what you love."
Tim Walker

93. “I didn’t write the rules. Why should I follow them?”
W Eugene Smith

94. "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera."
Lewis Hine

Helmut Newton

Helmut Newton (Image credit: Henry Herrmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

95. "The first 10 000 shots are the worst." `
Helmut Newton 

96. "Photography: so many attempts - so few masterpieces."
James Elliott

97. "For every negative that is a disappointment, there is one that is a joy."
Edward S Curtis

98. “Photography’s 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent moving furniture.”
Gregory Heisler

99. “It’s more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
Alfred Eisenstaedt

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