Photographers throughout history have left a record not only of their photos, but of their own musings on photography as both a record and an art form.

Here we have a list of over 100 photography quotes for your own photo inspiration:

Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry Photography

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

– Steve McCurry

“Photography helps people to see.”

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– Berenice Abbott

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

– Diane Arbus

“Photography, alone of the arts, seems perfected to serve the desire humans have for a moment – this very moment – to stay.”

– Sam Abell

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

– Ernst Haas

Harold Feinstein

Harold Feinstein Photography

“I love this life. I feel like I am always catching my breath and saying, ‘Oh! Will you look at that?’ Photography has been my way of bearing witness to the joy I find in seeing the extraordinary in ordinary life. You don’t look for pictures. Your pictures are looking for you.”

– Harold Feinstein

“One of my passions is photography. I always carry a camera in my bag whenever I travel. I always take pictures wherever I go, and some of them end up being really crazy ones.”

– Sunidhi Chauhan

“Photography is a language more universal than words.”

– Minor White

“I was drawn to street photography because there are pictures everywhere there: a woman holding a dog, a baby screaming to be put in a pram, kids playing punch ball, stores with huge barrels of kosher pickles outside. I wanted to photograph life, and here it was.”

– Harold Feinstein

“If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”

– Jim Richardson

Galen Rowell

Galen Rowell Photography

“A lot of people think that when you have grand scenery, such as you have in Yosemite, that photography must be easy.”

– Galen Rowell

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.”

– Ansel Adams

“Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.”

– Paul Strand

“I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today’s existence.”

– Robert Mapplethorpe

“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

“What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.”

– John Berger

“Photography gives you the opportunity to use your sensibility and everything you are to say something about and be part of the world around you. In this way, you might discover who you are, and with a little luck, you might discover something much larger than yourself.”

– Peter Lindbergh

Lois Greenfield

Lois Greenfield Photography

“My interest in photography is not to capture an image I see or even have in my mind, but to explore the potential of moments I can only begin to imagine.”

– Lois Greenfield

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

– Alfred Stieglitz

“Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase.”

– Percy W. Harris

“If I have any ‘message’ worth giving to a beginner, it is that there are no shortcuts in photography.”

– Edward Weston

“For me, documentary photography has always come with great responsibility. Not just to tell the story honestly and with empathy, but also to make sure the right people hear it. When you photograph somebody who is in pain or discomfort, they trust you to make sure the images will act as their advocate.”

– Giles Duley

“I’ve always believed that photography is a way to shape human perception.”

– James Balog

“The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.”

– Susan Meiselas

“I think that’s the strength of photography – to decide the decisive moment, to click in the moment to come up with a picture that never comes back again.”

– Rene Burri

“I’m so drawn to photography because you can convey a complex story in a single frame.”

– Gia Coppola

“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

“It is my intention to present – through the medium of photography – intuitive observations of the natural world which may have meaning to the spectators.”

– Ansel Adams

“All I really wanted to do was wildlife photography.”

– Nigel Dennis

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson Photography

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

– Henri Cartier-Bresson

“I am not interested in rules or conventions. Photography is not a sport.”

– Bill Brandt

“Anything more than 500 yards from the car just isn’t photogenic.”

– Edward Weston

“You take 35 degrees out of 360 degrees and call it a photo. No individual photo explains anything. That’s what makes photography such a wonderful and problematic medium.”

– Joel Sternfeld

“Photography has always been a major part of my vision: my excuse for meddling with what the world looks like.”

– Robert Rauschenberg

“In my photography, color and composition are inseparable. I see in color.”

– William Albert Allard

“I wish more people felt that photography was an adventure the same as life itself and felt that their individual feelings were worth expressing. To me, that makes photography more exciting.”

– Harry Callahan

“I can go into the wilderness and not see anyone for days and experience a kind of space that hasn’t changed for tens of thousands of years. Having that experience was necessary to my perception of how photography can look at the changes humanity has brought about in the landscape. My work does become a kind of lament.”

– Edward Burtynsky

“Photography can be a powerful instrument for change, and photojournalists can tell stories that make a difference.”

– Brian Skerry

“I’ve spent most of my life embracing violence in wars and revolutions. Even a famine is a form of violence. Because I photograph people in peril, people in pain, people being executed in front of me, I find it very difficult to get my head around the art narrative of photography.”

– Don McCullin

“Photography can be a volatile situation. It can be very potent.”

– Platon

Irving Penn

Irving Penn Photography

“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

“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.”

– Aaron Siskind

“I shutter to think how many people are underexposed and lacking depth in this field.”

– Rick Steves

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.”

– Robert Frank

“Only photograph what you love.”

– Tim Walker

“There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don’t be bitter because you can’t record it. Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!”

– DeGriff

“In the ’70s, in Britain, if you were going to do serious photography, you were obliged to work in black-and-white. Color was the palette of commercial photography and snapshot photography.”

– Martin Parr

“For me, pointing and clicking my phone is absolutely fine. People say that isn’t the art of photography but I don’t agree.”

– Annie Lennox

“One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind. To live a visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it.”

– Dorothea Lange

Eudora Welty

Eudora Welty Photography

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.”

– Eudora Welty

“I understood the craft of photography when done by an artist is art.”

– Ruth Bernhard

“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 man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man.”

– Edward Steichen

“One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.”

– Lisa Kristine

“I was born in Seoul, South Korea; then I moved to New York City at the age of seventeen. In New York, I studied art and photography. I thought I would be a painter; then I saw Walker Evans when I was in college, and that had a great impact on me. Being in the darkroom making B&W prints was such a magical experience.”

– Sung Jin Park

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

– Berenice Abbott

“I fell in love with the process of taking pictures, with wandering around finding things. To me it feels like a kind of performance. The picture is a document of that performance.”

– Alec Soth

Alex Tehrani Photography

Alex Tehrani Photography

“Anyone can shoot chaos. But the most perceptive photographers can make compelling pictures out of uninteresting moments.”

– Alex Tehrani

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

– Ansel Adams

“Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be.”

– Duane Michals

“I don’t think there’s any such thing as teaching people photography, other than influencing them a little. People have to be their own learners. They have to have a certain talent.”

– Imogen Cunningham

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

– Imogen Cunningham

“I could never figure out why photography and art had separate histories. So I decided to explore both.”

– John Baldessari

“Look at lots of exhibitions and books, and don’t get hung up on cameras and technical things. Photography is about images.”

– Fay Godwin

“Once the amateur’s naive approach and humble willingness to learn fades away, the creative spirit of good photography dies with it. Every professional should remain always in his heart an amateur.”

– Alfred Eisenstaedt

Dorothea Lange Photography

Dorothea Lange Photography

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

– Dorothea Lange

“To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before going for a walk.”

– Edward Weston

“I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are.”

– Ellen Von Unwerth

“The best thing about a picture is that it never changes, even when the people in it do.”

– Andy Warhol

“I guess I’ve shot about 40,000 negatives and of these I have about 800 pictures I like.”

– Harry Callahan

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

– Ansel Adams

“The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each to himself. And that is the most complicated thing on earth.”

– Edward Steichen

Vincent Laforet Photography

Vincent Laforet Photography

“Images of people, cities, and landscapes from the air tell a unique story about our personal space and how we relate to one another. I’ve always aimed to address the bigger picture and later trends. In many ways, what a photographer does is give others a chance to step back and look at their world and gain perspective on where we stand, and what that means.”

– Vincent Laforet

“Allow yourself the freedom to step away from perfection because it is only then that you can find success.”

– Chase Jarvis

“What I have learnt and what I teach now is all about experimentation and learning to pick yourself up and try again when you fall down.”

– Lara Jade

“To me, it is better to ‘guess’ at how something works, experiment, fail, guess again, fail, and keep repeating that process over and over again until you either figure it out or you discover a multiplicity of other cool tricks along the way.”

– Trey Ratcliff

“It doesn’t matter if you’re photographing a porter in a market in Marrakech or you’re photographing the king of Morroco. You have the same sympathetic approach to everybody. You be nice to everybody, basically.”

– Albert Watson

“I don’t trust words. I trust pictures.”

– Gilles Peress

“The camera has always been a guide, and it’s allowed me to see things and focus on things that maybe an average person wouldn’t even notice.”

– Don Chadwick

“Don’t pack up your camera until you’ve left the location.”

– Joe McNally

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

– Robert Mapplethorpe

“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.”

– Rankin

“Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.”

– Diane Arbus

“The best camera is the one that’s with you.”

– Chase Jarvis

Helen Levitt Photography

Helen Levitt Photography

“Since I’m inarticulate, I express myself with images.”

– Helen Levitt

“You know, I really don’t think you learn from teachers. You learn from work. I think what you learn, really, is how to be- you have to be your own toughest critic, and you only learn that from work, from seeing work.”

– Garry Winogrand

“I’m staying with film, and with silver prints, and no Photoshop. That’s the way I learned photography: You make your picture in the camera. Now, so much is made in the computer… I’m not anti-digital; I just think, for me, film works better.”

– Mary Ellen Mark

“The important thing is, you have to have something important to say about the world.”

– Paul Strand

“Every artist I suppose has a sense of what they think has been the importance of their work. But to ask them to define it is not really a fair question. My real answer would be, the answer is on the wall.”

– Paul Strand

“I think life is too short not to be doing something which you really believe in.”

– Steve McCurry

“I began to realize that the camera sees the world differently than the human eye and that sometimes those differences can make a photograph more powerful than what you actually observed.”

– Galen Rowell

“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.”

– Lewis Hine

“Character, like a photograph, develops in darkness.”

– Yousuf Karsh

Alfred Eisenstaedt Photography

Alfred Eisenstaedt Photography

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

– Alfred Eisenstaedt

“Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.”

– Walker Evans

“At 42, I decided to become a photographer because it offered a means of creative thought and action. I didn’t rationalize this, I just felt it intuitively and followed my intuition, which I have never regretted.”

– Wynne Bullock

“Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the ‘ah-ha’.”

– Ernst Haas

“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.”

– David Alan Harvey

“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

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”

– Matt Hardy

“Just put on the lens and go.”

– Miroslav Tichy

“Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.”

– Jean-Luc Godard

“People don’t have time to wait for somebody to paint their portraits anymore. The money is in photography.”

– Robert Mapplethorpe

John Sexton Photography

John Sexton Photography

“For me the printing process is part of the magic of photography. It’s that magic that can be exciting, disappointing, rewarding and frustrating all in the same few moments in the darkroom.”

– John Sexton

..and last but not least, the most famous photography quote of all time,

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

– Arthur Brisbane