100 inspirational photography quotes

A couple of weeks back I visited Fearless Conference Amsterdam. I was super inspired by all the photographers and especially by the speakers consisting of Sergio, Huy, Kelly, Fer, Susana, Olivia and Tyler. During the talks I heard so many great one-liners on photography that I had to write them down. I could hardly catch all of them so when I got back home I decided to do some research and make my top 100 inspirational quotes for Photographers.

I also added some business related photography quotes from Jasmine Star and others We all want to get paid doing what we love so I thought they should have a place here too.

Sometimes you feel like you are in a creative rut. When that happens, remember this post. Bookmark it and visit it whenever you need a motivational recharge for your photography. These quotes motivate me to bring out the best in me, I hope some will do the same for you.

Tip for photographers: Share different images from every shoot and schedule them at different times. This way you stay top of mind with your followers (not all followers will see your updates thanks to the algorithms of social media). When you share each image in a different way, your content will stay interesting for your followers while they still get to see your images. One way could be to share a photography quote with an image. Make sure to add it to your workflow to never miss a step. If you don’t have a workflow yet, download the free workflow chart template below!

List your favourite quote in the comments!

 

Image by Fer Juaristi

 

  1. “Photography is like sex. You know the ending. So how can you make it interesting?” ― Fer Juaristi
  2. “What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ― Karl Lagerfeld
  3. „It’s the first time in the history of the world that creatives are also distributors. And that’s very profound if you think that up until the recent history, permission was required for us to be able to share work at any sort of scale. We had to get permission from galleries, from ad agencies or photo editors to be able to have our work out there. And now anybody with access to a computer can show their work in 200 countries around the world.” ― Chase Jarvis
  4. “Always always get a single shot of the bride. Editors love that. Guys are cute but girls are hot.” ― Jasmine Star
  5. “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ― Ansel Adams
  6. „Light is beautiful and if you expose for it, it will look awesome.” ― Daniel Aguilar
  7. “There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” ― Abraham Lincoln
  8. “If your pictures are not good enough you are not close enough.” ― Robert Capa
  9. “A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” ― Diane Arbus
  10. “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!” ― Ted Grant
  11. “Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” ― Marc Riboud
  12. “What matters is making pictures that make people feel and react to them.” ― Fer Juaristi
  13. “A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty
  14. “My aesthetic gets simpler every year as I rely less on gimmicks and more on powerful content.” ― Anna Kuperberg
  15. “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” ― Ansel Adams
  16. „What I’m trying to say is find ways to inspire yourself and your clients by taking on challenges and thinking fast in situations that aren’t inspiring, make them inspiring.” ― Jose Villa
  17. „Get out of that frame of mind of trying to make someone else happy.” ― Joe Buissink
  18. “A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.” ― Ansel Adams
  19. “For me, the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson
  20. „Smile a lot. Be a good listener. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want, in the photos and the business. And get a great accountant.” ― Daniel and Lindsay Stark. (image below by David Beckstead)
  21. „People feel good in front of the camera only when you learn to help them feel comfortable being there! It is about infusing them with your passion and educating them about the how much they will enjoy the process.” ― David Beckstead
  22. “I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” – George Burns
  23. „Wedding photography is one of the hardest damn jobs in photography. Period. End of story.” ― Zack Arias
  24. “Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have somone click the shutter.” ― Ansel Adams
  25. „Each year I’m determined to make better photographs than the previous year – I’m constantly trying to be the best.„ ― Jeff Ascough
  26. “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.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers
  27. “A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.” ― George Bernard Shaw
  28. “People spot a big black lens, and they worry about what they’re doing, or how their hair looks. Nobody see the person holding the camera.” ― Erica O’Rourke, Torn
  29. “The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” ― Robert Frank
  30. „The most important thing for us is to always be learning, push the boundaries, and to find something new and different with each shoot.” ― Daniel and Lindsay Stark
  31. “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson
  32. “When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.” ― Robert Frank
  33. “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” ― Ansel Adams
  34. “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. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. ” ― Richard Avedon
  35. “You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” ― Joan Miró
  36. “Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer” ― Walter De Mulder
  37. “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
  38. “Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment. ” ― Ansel Adams
  39. „I find humor in many situations and things and I tend to make photographs that point out these things. We photograph according to our character.” ― Huy Nguyen
  40. “A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is thereby a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” ― Ansel Adams (Image below by Jasmin Star)
  41. „People feel good in front of the camera only when you learn to help them feel comfortable being there! It is about infusing them with your passion and educating them about the how much they will enjoy the process.” ― David Beckstead
  42. “I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” – George Burns
  43. „Wedding photography is one of the hardest damn jobs in photography. Period. End of story.” ― Zack Arias
  44. “Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have somone click the shutter.” ― Ansel Adams
  45. „Each year I’m determined to make better photographs than the previous year – I’m constantly trying to be the best.„ ― Jeff Ascough
  46. “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.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers
  47. “A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.” ― George Bernard Shaw
  48. “People spot a big black lens, and they worry about what they’re doing, or how their hair looks. Nobody see the person holding the camera.” ― Erica O’Rourke, Torn
  49. “The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” ― Robert Frank
  50. „The most important thing for us is to always be learning, push the boundaries, and to find something new and different with each shoot.” ― Daniel and Lindsay Stark
  51. “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― Henri Cartier-Bresson
  52. “When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.” ― Robert Frank
  53. “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” ― Ansel Adams
  54. “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. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. ” ― Richard Avedon
  55. “You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” ― Joan Miró
  56. “Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer” ― Walter De Mulder
  57. “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
  58. “Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment. ” ― Ansel Adams
  59. „I find humor in many situations and things and I tend to make photographs that point out these things. We photograph according to our character.” ― Huy Nguyen
  60. “A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is thereby a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” ― Ansel Adams (Image below by Tyler Wirken)
  61. „It is a profound honour as a photographer to witness two people falling in love.” ― Jesh de Rox
  62. „Keep it organic and timeless and your images will withstand the test of time, stop over doing photo shoots and applying the coolest action to your digital images. All of that stuff is trendy and it will die off in no time, keep it simple and classy.” ― Jose Villa
  63. “Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure.” ― Tony Benn
  64. (On getting the laugh on picture)”Keeping the camera on the face while talking. Of course, you look stupid but my job is not to look cool. My job is to make them look cool.” ― Jasmine Star
  65. “If I can dig deeper and show more of who people are, aside from it being a wedding day, then I feel I’ve succeeded. Usually at the end of the night, that comes out. The party’s over, and they one hundred percent become themselves.” ― Tyler Wirken
  66. “I know what looks good. I don’t think you have an ugly side. I think you have a fear.” ― Jasmine Star
  67. “Allow yourself to be surprised by your mistakes.” ― Fer Juaristi
  68. „When photographs are emotionally honest, it can feel scary for the photographer. It’s easier to hide behind a facade of prettiness that makes everything flat and formulaic. But it’s the deeply moving photos that have the most meaning for the client. You need honesty and openness to be able to shoot like that. You need to notice and see people as they are and not as you expect them to be.” ― Anna Kuperberg
  69. „I do believe that the experience my couples have, is just as important if not more as the images in the end.  What I add, quietly observe, and how I lead during an event is very important that its exactly what the couple anticipates and expects.  This is an endless skill to be perfected.” ― Mike Larson
  70. „I shoot what I want to be shooting. For instance, I never shoot an engagement session where I’m not inspired. I suggest locations to my clients and I have them come to me, then I take them to areas I know have amazing light and backdrops. it’s my playground and I do best here.” ― Jose Villa
  71. „Wedding photography is so challenging and complex. Nothing is the same ever, so if you really want to do it right, you really have to study and focus and perform at your highest level. It is almost impossible to shoot a wedding perfectly — technically speaking, but if you decide you want to try you’ll realize you have to perform at the top of your game. You’re thinking about light, moment and the composition of every single frame. You’re reminding yourself to think outside the box; to shoot different; to shoot outside your comfort zone. You’re trying to be creative with details shots and also have a strong and solid knowledge of portraiture. Trying to do all that in an 8-12 hour period can really show you how very difficult it is to execute great photography more specifically wedding photography.” ― Daniel Aguilar
  72. “How many frames do we need to remember someone or some place? Most people only really need one, so I divide the day into sections: getting ready, the ceremony etc, and I try to create one image which inspires me for every section, which just defines that moment.” ― Fer Juaristi
  73. „We all see the world so different, why not just transfer that onto film, or digital and share your vision with the world, not someone else’s vision… if you do you will always see your images as someone else’s not yours. That feeling is not genuine.” ― Jose Villa
  74. „Main thing is just to remember that hard work got me here and only hard work will keep me here.” ― Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York)
  75. “Album spread. Album spread. Always think about the end result.” ― Jasmine Star
  76. „Just be prepared to look back in a few years on yourself, and your photos, and laugh.” ― Ben Chrisman
  77. „The best photographers are super nice people and that its not a coincidence. Great photographers genuinely like people, and people can feel that. That’s what makes people feel comfortable. It is important to appear confident with clients, but it is more important to not be afraid to act like a fool, have fun, laugh and shake your hips to get people comfortable.” ― Sergio
  78. “When there are other limitations, I don’t let myself be a limitation.” ― Fer Juaristi
  79. „I really want to show a bride a side of herself that she may have never seen before; elegant and sexy, and at the same time I want to tell the story of her wedding day and show her how much love she’s surrounded with. I want to show how important it is to have family around you on your wedding day. I want to show images that reflect the unconditional love family and friends can have for you. I want to share my own vision of what it is to be loved and how I would like that love to be remembered.” ― Daniel Aguilar (Image below by Daniel Aguilar)
  80. “When I meet with clients, I ask them to close their eyes and imagine how their wedding photographs are going to look,” he explains. “Then I say, I’m not going to give you that and I’ll show them a slide show featuring some very different images.” ― Fer Juaristi  
  81. „My experience says that if you put out a lot of personal work that’s good, it tends to attract high dollar commercial work.  But to be clear –  I don’t create art to get high dollar projects, I do high dollar projects so I can create more art.” ― Chase Jarvis
  82. „If you don’t put yourself in the way of luck, it won’t hit you. I take a lot of chances, and most of the time I fail, but every once in a while luck hits you.” ― Joe Buissink
  83. „Shooting journalistically is the hardest style of wedding photography. Many people think it is just a case of pointing and shooting. It isn’t. It takes years of experience, and an eye for a picture.„ ― Jeff Ascough
  84. (On client’s request) “Shoot it and get it done. Move on.” ― Jasmine Star
  85. „The camera adds a certain sheen to things. Something about being frozen in time really makes things sparkle.” ― Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York)
  86. „Pinterest is like visiting art galleries and helps me think of fresh and innovative ways of approaching portraits. Instagram has helped me fall back in love with snapshots and motivated me to shoot more every day.„ ― Brett Butterstein
  87. „When we wake up the morning after their wedding and can barely walk. When we’re so mentally and physically exhausted, we know there is absolutely nothing more we could have done to work harder to capture their day.” ― Erika and Lanny Mann
  88. „We were taught early on that the most important elements to a good photo are lighting, composition and emotion. All three make for a fantastic image. But we have learned that emotion trumps all.” ― Daniel and Lindsay Stark
  89. “Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ―Elliot Erwitt
  90. „The most important thing about photography is who you are, and I can go into depth about the psychology of that, but there’s no way you can take a photograph and not leave your imprint on it. Every time you hit the shutter it’s based on who you are, that’s what makes you different from every body else. My style is that I shoot from the heart, to the heart.” ― Joe Buissink
  91. „I feel the need to make sure that the new generation of photographers realizes that what we (some of us old timers) endeavor to do in this industry is to continue to show the world that what we do is a craft, an art form. There is no magic bullet for success. It requires dedication and hard work. And if you wish to truly excel at this craft… it requires introspection. A very deep look inside yourself.” ― Joe Buissink
  92. „I always use my last week’s effort as my greatest inspiration. Instead of comparing myself to what photographers around me are doing, I’m always trying to beat last week’s effort.” ― Jerry Ghionis
  93. „At the center of every wedding we have a girl. Who fell in love with a boy. Or a girl who fell in love with a girl. Or a boy who fell in l… you get my point. The rest is fluff.” ― Jonas Peterson
  94. „What we are doing is providing a space for couples to see how beautiful they really are.” ― Jesh de Rox
  95. „I always look for three things when it comes to my images. Good lighting, good composition and good storytelling. To my mind, a good image will contain two of these elements, and outstanding image will contain all three.” ― Jeff Ascough
  96. „A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years, but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind.” ― Albert Einstein
  97. „ I believe that every time I press the shutter, I create for myself.” ― David Beckstead
  98. “I don’t like couples to look at me because it feels like a threesome.” ― Fer Juaristi
  99. “Being in instagram is making me be a better photographer and a better person and I had been told that if you wanna be a better photographer you has to be a better person” ― Susana Barbera
  100. “Practice the art of focusing on what’s awesome to you.” ― Fer Juaristi
Image by Fer Juaristi

Did you like it? Please share the love with the share box on the side! Thanks!

Tip for photographers: Share different images from every shoot and schedule them at different times. This way you stay top of mind with your followers (not all followers will see your updates thanks to the algorithms of social media). When you share each image in a different way, your content will stay interesting for your followers while they still get to see your images. One way could be to share a photography quote with an image. Make sure to add it to your workflow to never miss a step. If you don’t have a workflow yet, download the free workflow chart template below!

Other great articles to read from the Shootzilla blog:

Credits:

I browsed the net looking for motivational or inspirational photography quotes and have to thank a lot of bloggers and photographer colleagues for documenting them. Here is the credit list if you want to explore some of the interviews:

Which quote jumped at you the most? Please share it in the comments!

74 thoughts on “100 inspirational photography quotes”

  1. I’d change your attribution for the following quote from Jasmine Star to George Burns.

    “I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.”

    – George Burns

    1. Esther de Boer

      Frankie, that is an amazing quote as well. Thanks so much for adding it! Hugs from the Netherlands!

  2. Great Inspirational quotes. Thanks for sharing this. My favourate is Jeff Ascough’s this quote —“I always look for three things when it comes to my images. Good lighting, good composition and good storytelling. To my mind, a good image will contain two of these elements, and outstanding image will contain all three.” Check out this, if you’ve a minute of time garudafilmmakers.com

  3. “What i like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ― Karl Lagerfeld

  4. Great quotes by fellow photographers.

    One that resonates with me is,
    “Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ―Elliot Erwitt

  5. I love all these quotes and I can’t help but have to re-quote this one by Abraham Lincoln – “There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” I’m a Toronto wedding photographer (sorry for the spam but just to prove that I really am here’s my humble website https://www.evolyllaphotography.com/) and I think a sense of humour is so important in photography. People now often seek for perfections in photos with all the technologies available to make us look pretty in pictures. But what’s really important in photography is more than beauty itself. It’s a moment we choose to capture with the perspective we choose to interpret this moment. Photography is such a beautiful thing but it doesn’t imply perfection.

  6. Great share! Thanks for your inspirational photography quotes. I think really it will help us. I already bookmarked it. Because without bookmarked. It’s impossible to keep in mind. What kind of photographs are my favorite? I’m going to take tomorrow. For this post, as a result, will me improve every day! Whatever, Thanks ones again for sharing. See you again.

  7. Great idea for a blog post.

    As a big film and photography fan I really like this quote from Jean-Luc Godard.

    ‘Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.’

  8. Wow! These quotes are outstanding. I like all the quotes. These are very inspirational as well as informative. All quotes are very good but 80 numbers is very inspiring and outstanding. Thanks you for share encouraging quotes with us. I will visit surely again. Keep share good things with us.

  9. Enjoyed reading the article above , really explains everything in detail,the article is very interesting and effective.Thank you and good luck for the upcoming articles

  10. When I was thinking of a name for my business, the word snaps kept coming to mind and one day I just thought, “Lifesnaps” and to make it more me I came up with Lifesnaps by Dawn and I started using the words Capturing Life on my business cards and products! The quote that really grabbed me was by Brigitte Bardot – “A photograph can be an instant of life captured for eternity that will never cease looking back at you” Good stuff on this page, thanks for sharing!

  11. These quotes have inspired me more in pursuing my photography career. I hail from a background of engineers and doctors but i ended up being a photographer and I am proud of that.

  12. Such a great different blog post.
    I started and I had to go through them all, If I had to choose just one it would have to be No.36 for me.

    My own quote is
    “in the beginning there was time.. Now time is just the beginning.
    Time is always beginning but is never ending,
    Give me a camera and I can freeze time”

  13. Great quotes and the main thing is to come across. I am particularly close to quotes about wedding photography. Four months ago I had a wedding. I did not think that the search for a wedding photographer was so problematic, but I was very fortunate enough to find a real master on the website https://taraweddings.ca/wedding-photography/. Everything went perfectly. The photographer is attentive and sensitive, easy to communicate. The photos were amazing, insanely beautiful and tender. I advise everyone.

  14. I read your article about photographers quote. I like 9 17 and 29 quote but over all are best. Your efforts to finding these quotes are very good Thanks for sharing it.

  15. “I want pictures like these. The kind that can capture a moment, make it real, make it last. I need pictures that do more than reflect. I need pictures that are truth.” ― Lisa Magnum

  16. I do not even know the way I finished up right here, but I believed this post
    was great. I don’t recognize who you’re however definitely
    you’re going to a well-known blogger should you are not already.
    Cheers!

  17. Super thought out! Wow love it! The is something which many people are intelligently looking for. Useful inspirational photography quotes are gathered here .
    I am very happy that I came across this in my search for something concerning
    this.

  18. Great photography and blogs! You have done a fantastic job and I have really fallen in love with these pictures. Keep up the good work and I wish to see more of your wedding photographs. We also provide Wedding & Pre Wedding Photographers In Mohali, Chandigarh area. We offering any type of photography services like candid photography, baby and Model Photoshoot services. http://jagbirphotography.com/

  19. Great quotes collected by you. I follow every article you post and wait for next. when I am in trouble I feel positiveness when reading your article. This one gives me extra energy for a stay motivated in my life
    I am really thankful to you for sharing such a motivational post.

  20. I like 96th quote. I will use this quote on one of my photos as a caption. Rightly said that a photograph never grows old it remains the same, people change all through the months and years.

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