Photography Quotes to Kickstart Your Inspiration

Photography can certainly be considered a form of art, and like any artist the waxing and waning of inspiration is a constant battle that we must fight.

The reasons for a lapse in inspiration vary wildly depending on the individual. It could be a prolonged period of poor weather (although that’s no excuse!), one too many shoots with flat and uninteresting light, or problems in other areas of your life that impact on your creativity and inspiration.

For me, the summer months of harsh light and ungodly sunrise times usually cause a sizeable dip in my inspiration and photography output.

It’s important to recognise what is causing your photographic inspiration to fall off a cliff and try to combat the cause. One way I’ve found to be extremely good at boosting my morale back up is to mull over some of the famous and inspiring quotes from past photographers.

Hopefully, some of these wise photography quotes can give you the boost you need to get inspired again:

You Might Like… The Ultimate Guide to Autumn Photography

Photography Quotes to Inspire You

“No place is boring if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.”

- Robert Adams

 photography inspiration quotes

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”

- Marc Riboud

“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.”

- Elliott Erwitt

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

- Ansel Adams

“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

“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 for the rest of your life.”

- Joan Miro

 photography quotes inspiration

“John Loengard, the picture editor at Life, always used to tell me, ‘If you want something to look interesting, don’t light all of it.’”

- Joe McNally

“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

“I wish that all of nature’s magnificence, the emotion of the land, the living energy of place could be photographed.”

- Annie Leibovitz

“If your pictures are not good enough, you are not close enough.”

- Robert Capa

“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

“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

 photography inspiration Ansel Adams

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a witness.”

- Yann Arthus-Bertrand

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

- David Alan Harvey

“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.”

- Elliott Erwitt

“There are always two people in every picture: The photographer and the viewer.”

- Ansel Adams

“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

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

- Peter Adams

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

- Ellen Von Unwerth

 Inspiration for photography

“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

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

- Ansel Adams

“Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future.”

- Sally Mann

“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

“Photography is truth.”

- Jean-Luc Godard

 photography inspiration

“When I photograph, what I’m really doing is seeking answers to things.”

- Wynn Bullock

“I tend to think of the act of photographing, generally speaking, as an adventure. My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”

- Dianne Arbus

“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - And often the supreme disappointment.”

- Ansel Adams

“It’s weird that photographers spend years or even a whole lifetime truing to capture moments that, added together, don’t even amount to a couple of hours.”

- James Lalropui Keivom

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

- August Sander

 photography inspiration quotes

“Photography has nothing to do with cameras.”

- Lucas Gentry

“Essentially, what photography is is life lit up.”

- Sam Abell

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

- Karl Lagerfield

“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

 photography inspiration

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

- Ansel Adams

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”

- Anonymous

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

- Diane Arbus

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

- Jim Richardson

 photography quotes inspiration

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

- Steve McCurry

“What’s really important is to simplify. The work of most photographers would be improved immensely if they could do one thing: get rid of the extraneous. If you strive for simplicity, you are more likely to reach the viewer.”

- William Albert Allard

“The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”

- Scott Lorenzo

“No, you don't shoot things. You capture them. Photography means painting with light. And that's what you do. You paint a picture only by adding light to the things you see.”

- Katja Michael

“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

 photography inspiration quotes