10 inspirational quotes on World Photography Day

Today is World Photography Day, a day when photographers and photography enthusiasts from all over the world celebrate the art, the passion, the means of expression that ties them all together. I am no exception to this. On this day I’m looking at the greats, the pioneers, some of the world’s best photographers, and sharing what they had to say about photography as well as some of my favourites from their works. I encourage you to leave a comment below with your favourite photography quote or your favourite works.

Rene Burri

“If you are truly successful in capturing the pulse of life, then you can speak of a good photograph.”

Rene Burri Photography

Photos by Rene Burri. Left to right: Che Guevarra. Cuba. 1963. | Sao Paulo. Brazil. 1960. | Pablo Picasso. France. 1957.

William Klein

“I would look at my contact sheets and my heart would be beating, you know. To see if I’d caught what I wanted. Sometimes, I’d take shots without aiming, just to see what happened. I’d rush into crowds – bang! Bang! I liked the idea of luck and taking a chance, other times I’d frame a composition I saw and plant myself somewhere, longing for some accident to happen.

Choosing location, maybe a symbolic spot, the light and perspective – and suddenly you know the moment is yours. It must be close to what a fighter feels after jabbing and circling and getting hit, when suddenly theres an opening, and bang! Right on the button. It’s a fantastic feeling.”

William Klein Photography

Photos by William Klein. Left to right: Gun 1. New York. 1955. | Harlem.1955. | Vogue. Paris. 1958.

Ansel Adams

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

Ansel Adams Photography

Photos by Ansel Adams. Left to right: Evening. McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park. 1942. | The Tetons and the Snake River. 1942. | Church. Taos Pueblo. 1942.

Robert Capa

“If your pictures aren’t good enough you’re not close enough.”

Robert Capa Photography

Photos by Robert Capa. Left to right: The first wave of American troops lands at dawn. Normandy. Omaha Beach. 1944. | Children play in the snow during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Hankow. 1938. | Bidding farewell to the International Brigades, which the Republican government dismissed. Spain. 1938.

David Alan Harvey

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

David Alan Harvey

Photos by David Alan Harvey. Left to right: Tegucigalpa. Honduras. 1990. | Young men spar at a community center in a favela, or shantytown. Brazil. Salvador, Bahia. 2002. | Wild ponies kick up dust during an annual round-up. Spain. Sabuceda. 1977.

Marc Riboud

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

Marc Riboud Photography

Photos by Marc Riboud. Left to right: March for Peace in Vietnam. Washington, DC. 1967. | The wild boy taken out from the jungle sees a photographer for the first time. Nepal. 1956. | Young mother in a refugee camp in Calcutta. India. 1971.

Robert Frank

“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”

Robert Frank Photography

Photos by Robert Frank. Left to right: Marilyn is Dead. 1962. | Hoboken, New Jersey. 1955. | Yom Kippur - East River, New York City. 1955.

Alfred Eisenstaedt

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

Alfred Eisenstaedt Photography

Photos by Alfred Eisenstaedt . Left to right: V-J Day. 1945. | Mother and child in Hiroshima. Japan. December 1945. | Student nurses line the railings of a stairwell at Roosevelt Hospital. New York. 1938.

Imogen Cunningham

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

Imogen Cunningham Photography

Photos by Imogen Cunningham. Left to right: Aiko. 1971. | Aiko's Hands. 1971. | Dance 3, Cornish School. 1935.

Irving Penn

“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

Photos by Irving Penn. Left to right: Picasso. Cannes. 1957. | Nadja Auermann. 1994. | Still life with Watermelon. New York. 1948.

There are many other great photographers with truly inspirational work and photography quotes, so I’ll probably have another article or two after this one. If you want to suggest who I should include next, let me know in a comment below.


Happy World Photography Day!

1 Comment

  1. by Sasha on March 4, 2016  2:55 pm Reply

    Great quotes, really inspirational! Specially David Alan Harvey one...

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

thirteen + twelve =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.