If you are having a bad day as a photographer don’t worry, we all have been there. After a while, people can lose motivation for work they were passionate before. In order to restore some of that passion and motivate you, we have compiled 23 photography quotes that will bring back hope in your photography business.
All of these quotes contain wisdom from famous photographers. Hope these quotes will help you overcome some problems you have with your photography business. Every quote shows just how important photography is to us and our world. (Also, check out our 5 Surprising Things Holding Your Photography Business Back)
Also, leave us your favorite photography quotes in the comments below.
23 Photography Quotes That Will Give You Hope in Photography:
1. “It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.”
– David Bailey
David argues that the painter has a lot of freedom to express himself, as they can also “invent “things on a picture. While a photographer has to put in a lot of effort to create a beautiful picture. Everything needs to be in order from light to people in the photograph. You can always paint something from your imagination but if you don’t take the picture at the right moment you have missed the magic.
Related: If You Get These 11 Questions Wrong, You Will Have Hard Time With Your Photography Business
2. “It’s not enough to just own a camera. Everyone owns a camera. To be a photographer you must understand, appreciate and harness the power you hold!”
– Mark Denman
This one is really simple. Not everyone can take good photographs because not everyone has the skills to do it. It takes time to understand photography and how to handle a camera. It is not just understanding how to take pictures, you also need to understand your environment and how it changes with time. Once you start paying attention to the passage of time and how it affects what you see, you start to be aware of good photo opportunities. (Read more quotes by Mark Denman)
Related: 13 Reasons To Give Up Photography Business And Do Something Else
3. “We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.”
– Ralph Hattersley
Finding our reasons for why are we here. What are we meant to do to on this planet? Freezing significant moments in our lives so they are available to review again and again is what photography is all about. It gives us a different view on that moment captured on a camera. A photograph can remind us what people on it actually mean to us.
4. “Only photography has been able to divide human life into a series of moments, each of them has the value of a complete existence.”
– Eadweard Muybridge
This is just beautifully said. It perfectly describes one of the reasons why most of us start taking pictures. We all want moments of our lives to be captured so we can revisit them later. Our memory degrades over time, and good memories get lost, but with photography, you can refresh and relive all those moments from the past.
5. “It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
– Alfred Eisenstaedt
Understanding people and connecting with them is more important than just taking a picture of them. When you know people, how they feel and how they will react you can use that to your advantage. Also, if they feel comfortable with you, the pictures will look beautiful. Always try to understand your client no matter how difficult they are.
6. “Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.”
– Henri Cartier-Bresson
This just adds to the point David Bailey was making. When you draw something, you have all the time in the world at your disposal. In photography when the perfect moment happens if you are not ready it will pass in a blink of an eye. Be on a lookout for those perfect moments.
7. “Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true.”
– Jacques-Henri Lartigue
When you take photos, you are recording history. Whit photography there are no words. Any meaning a person takes from the pictures is true for them because they will never know what really happened when that photo was taken. Life goes by so you need to take photographs to catch some of it before is gone.
8. “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
Everyone dies. But with photography, our life’s will continue to be. Our children can look at photographs and remember us. We can be remembered forever thru photography. Our minds will fade but photography especially digital one will survive almost everything. Photography is our digital print we are going to leave for the new generations.
9. “The art of photography is all about directing the attention of the viewer.”
– Steven Pinker
This is really true. One of the hardest things in photography is directing the attention of a viewer. It is a skill to really point the viewer in the direction you want. This helps the viewer understand what happened at that moment when the picture is taken.
10. “One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.”
– Lisa Kristine
A picture speaks a thousand words. Lisa claims that photography transcends language and by all standards, she is right about that. For example, describing a fashion event to a person will take to much time, and it is almost impossible to describe exactly how it played and looked. Taking a few pictures of the event and showing those pictures describes everything at that moment.
11. “Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.”
– Martin Parr
I couldn’t agree more. Some people think it is easy to take pictures. They think you just need an expensive camera and the pictures are going to look amazing. This is so far from the truth. To be a photographer it takes a lot of knowledge, sacrifices, and dedication.
Related: What Training Is Needed For Photography?
12. “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
It is all about perspective in this quote. As you know, the pictures always look different then what your mind has captured. With them, you can also capture small but powerful details that you would never see using your own eye. Our eyes are all but perfect, this is why we need things photographs to see more than what is possible with eyes alone.
13. “Some days you just get lucky… Other days you wait patiently for luck to happen”
– Destin Sparks
One would argue that the photographer can manipulate with things in order to get perfect pictures. This is true to some extent, but you also need a bit of a luck to happen. A spontaneous pose or a laugh is all you need to get a perfect picture, but it won’t happen at your request.
14. “The photographer does the world a great disservice when he leaves his camera at home.”
– Mark Denman
You are a photographer so always carry your camera. No excuses! A perfect composition can happen anywhere and the more spontaneous it is the better the photograph. Don’t miss this perfect moment because you were lazy and you left your camera at home.
15. “Taking a picture is like giving a piece of your soul away. You allow other people to see the world through your eyes.”
– Katja Michael
Katja explains how everyone sees the world differently and she can’t be more right. With photography, you can give your eyes to the viewer and they will see through your soul. In a way you are lending your eyes to them, so they can have a different experience.
16. “In my view, you cannot claim to have seen something until you have photographed it.”
– Émile Zola
“Pictures please or it didn’t happen!”. Imagine something amazing has happened but it is hard for the people to believe you. If you only had that amazing event on the pictures it would be so much easier. Photographs are evidence that something has happened. You can never trust someone’s personal experience, but you can always trust a photograph.
17. “No matter how sophisticated the camera, the photographer is still the one that makes it.”
– Doug Bartlow
An amazing camera doesn’t mean great photographs. Accidental photographs can happen from time to time in the hands of uneducated beginner photographer. But with years of experience and practice, it will happen more often if you are holding the camera.
18. “The camera makes you forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much.”
– Annie Leibovitz
We always forget about time and other people around us while we are looking thru the camera. We focus so much on the settings and the composition that we often drift away from reality. It is almost an excuse to break from reality. We are just looking for something that hasn’t yet happened, we try to predict the emergence of an event. This can always take time but patience is virtue of a photographer.
19. “Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.”
– Walker Evans
Walker is just trying to teach us not to be shy. You can’t have a successful photography business as a shy person. You really need to stare, pry and listen as a photographer. Without that, you won’t know how and when that picture perfect moment will happen.
20. “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
As in camera Don actually means the pictures created using a camera. A picture is always different from what you saw thru the viewfinder. Picture taken with a camera has a large amount of details compared to what you have remembered about the scene.
21. “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
One of the hardest types of photography is considered to be black and white. With this type of photography, you can really focus on the person in front of you. The photo is only about the main subject. While it might seem that this type of photography is restrictive, in reality, you can communicate much more with your pictures as the viewer will not get distracted by colors.
Related: 20 Essential Black And White Photography Tips For Beginners
22. “What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
– Karl Lagerfeld
We already had quotes like this, but this is just so beautifully said. I can’t agree more with this one. Once a moment is gone you can never get it back no matter how much you try. This is what I love about life and photography. Every moment and every photo is unique.
23. “Regarding the creative: never assume you’re the master, only the student. Your audience will determine if you’re masterful.”
– Don Roff
Never be the judge of your own work. You will never master photography completely as every day you will learn something new. Learn to take criticism and learn from others. Your pictures are not perfect unless the audience decides so.
Related: How Can I Learn Photography On My Own?
We really hope these 23 photography quotes have restored your faith and hope in photography.
Photography is an art and it is beautiful, don’t forget this!
Hope you have found your favorite photography quote that will motivate you to be a better photographer (leave your favorite one in the comments).
Best of luck!
Related: 9 Myths About Photography Business You Can’t Afford To Believe!