Nicolò Taborra

Inspiration 50 Inspirational Quotes for Photographers

© Nicolò Taborra

Photography is a love affair with life.” – Burk Uzzle

We have carefully selected 50 inspirational quotes that offer insights into the minds of the photography greats.

─── by Edward Clay, August 23, 2022
  • From portraiture to landscape; color to monochrome, these profound assertions represent the full breadth of the photographic spectrum, and, combined with imagery from previous winners, finalists, and participants to our monthly awards, we hope will offer inspiration, advice, and encouragement in your photographic endeavors.

    medium format analog color portrait of a skinhead girl in London, UK by Owen Harvey
    “Mykie, Skinhead” - Hackney, London, UK

    Portrait Photography

    1. “There’s nothing more interesting than the landscape of the human face”
    – Irvin Kershner

    2. “In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody.”
    – Henri Cartier-Bresson

    3. “It’s a world, someone’s face. When I capture it, I see the future of the world.”
    – Malick Sidibé

    4. “A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he is being photographed.”
    – Richard Avedon

    5. “I like to photograph anyone before they know what their best angles are.”
    – Ellen Von Unwerth


    Photo: “Mykie, Skinhead” – Hackney, London, UK © Owen Harvey

    black and white landscape film photo of a road by Alexandre Caetano
    “On top of Serra da Capelada”, Galicia, Spain © Alexandre Caetano - Third Prize Winner, Black & White Award, February 2022

    Black & White Photography

    1. “Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.”
    – Robert Frank

    2. “I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black.”
    – Henri Matisse

    3. “I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.”
    – Mary Ellen Mark

    4. “Black and white is abstract; color is not. Looking at a black and white photograph, you are already looking at a strange world.”
     Joel Sternfeld

    5. “To some extent, the cult surrounding black-and-white photography is based on nostalgia.” – René Burri


    Photo: “Serra da Capelada” – Galicia, Spain © Alexandre Caetano

    Color photo of a young nomadic reindeer herder in Yamal peninsula, Siberia, Northern Russia by Nicola Ducati
    “Moon Compass” - Yamal peninsula, Siberia, Northern Russia

    Documentary Photography

    1. “Photography is by nature a documentary art.”
    – August Sander

    2. “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
    – Dorothea Lange

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

    4. “Good photography is unpretentious.”
    Walker Evans

    5. “I never thought of myself as doing anything other than telling stories”
    – Erich Lessing


    Photo: “Moon Compass” – Yamal peninsula, Northern Russia © Nicola Ducati

    street color photograph of a family shot in Cuba, by Monia Marchionni photography quotes

    Street Photography

    1. “It’s not the streets, it’s where the streets lead you that’s important.”
    – Bruce Davidson 

    2. “The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in the street.”
    – Robert Doisneau

    3. “I photograph all the time – it’s a way of being alive and being connected,”
    – Harry Gruyaert

    4. “You fill up the frame with feelings, energy, discovery, and risk, and leave room enough for someone else to get in there.”
    – Joel Meyerowitz

    5. “If you can smell the street by looking at the photo, it’s a street photograph.”
    – Bruce Gilden


    Photo: “The gardens from the sky” – Cuba © Monia Marchionni

    conceptual studi black and white photograph of a horse
    "Dancing Fearless” © Jorg Karg

    Conceptual Photography

    1. “I never knew what I was doing until I was done.”
    – Man Ray 

    2. “What I do is put mirrors in the right place to reflect an image.”
    Lise Sarfati

    3. “Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye”
    – Dorothy Parker

    4. “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.”
    – Aaron Siskind

    5. “I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.”
    – Ernst Haas


    Photo: “Dancing Fearless” © Jorg Karg

    color photo of children playing in Cambodia by Jozef Macak
    “Even buddha's children are just children” - Siem reap, Cambodia

    People Photography

    1.  “It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.”
    – Alfred Eisenstaedt

    2. “For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.” 
    -Diane Arbus

    3. “A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.” – Annie Leibovitz

    4.”If you wait, people will forget your camera, and the soul will drift up into view.” – Steve McCurry

    5. “I’m trying to capture something more fragile than a regular story. I love what people bring me.”  Agnes Varda


    Photo: Young monks, Siem reap, Cambodia © Jozef Macak

    black and white studio portrait of a white woman by Arber Sefa
    "Studio portrait work"

    Fashion Photography

    1. “I like form and shape and strength in pictures.”
      Herb Ritts

    2. “For me, every photograph is a portrait; the clothes are just a vehicle for what I want to say.”
    – Peter Lindbergh

    3. “I always thought we were selling dreams, not clothes.”
    – Irving Penn

    4. “Fashion is an expression of the times. Elegance is something else again.”
    Horst P Horst

    5. “The truly fashionable are beyond fashion.”
    Cecil Beaton


    Photo: © Arber Sefa

    color landscape photograph of the Dolomite mountains in the Italian Alps by Nicolò Taborra
    “Aerial view of mine” - Dolomites, Italy

    Landscape Photography

    1. “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
    – Ansel Adams

    2. “Enjoyment of the landscape is a thrill”
    – David Hockney

    3. “Memory is the fourth dimension to any landscape”
    – Janet Fitch

    4. “I have a fondness for when the landscape becomes surreal.”
    – Edward Burtynsky

    5. “Any landscape is a condition of the spirit.”
    – Henri Frederic Amiel


    Photo: Dolomites, Italy © Nicolò Taborra

    colorful still life photograph of fruits
    “Pomegranate and Persimmons”

    Color Photography

    1. “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.”
    – Pablo Picasso

    2. “Color is very much about atmosphere and emotion and the feel of a place.”
    – Alex Webb

    3. “The beauty is not in the colors, but in their harmony.”
    – Marcel Proust

    4. “I’m mystified that anyone thinks liking color is a bad thing”
    – Saul Leiter

    5. “In my photography, color and composition are inseparable. I see in color.”
    – William Albert Allard


    Photo: “Pomegranate and Persimmons” © Ron Mayhew

    color photograph of a man in front of Taj Mahal
    “Eternal Sail” - Agra, India

    Travel Photography

    1. “The world makes up my pictures, not me.”
    – Lee Friedlander

    2. “Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.”
    – Bruno Barbey

    3. “I never stay in one country more than three months. Why? Because I was interested in seeing, and if I stay longer I become blind.”
    – Josef Koudelka

    4. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal.”
    – Paulo Coelho

    5. “One’s destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things.”
    – Henry Miller


    Photo: “Eternal Sail” – Agra, India © Arun Hegden



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