Favorite Quotes




“If I like many photographers, and I do, I account for this by noting a quality they share – animation. They may or may not make a living by photography, but they are alive by it.” ~ Robert Adams


“Asked for your opinion on the prints, you have two choices: truth or tact. I ask for the bathroom.” ~ Bill Jay


“Photography must ask the great questions of life, which ultimately does not include, ‘Which camera did you use?’” ~ Brooke Jensen


“The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and Weston are photographing rocks.” ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson


“I don’t press the shutter. The images does.” ~ Diane Arbus


“The arts are not a way of making a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut


“An amateur is an artist who supports himself with outside jobs which enable him to paint. A professional is someone whose wife works to enable him to paint.” ~ Ben Shahn


“If I were to teach, I wouldn’t teach a course in photography. I’d teach a course called ‘What Matters.'” ~ Ralph Steiner


“All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.” ~ Richard Avedon


“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” ~ Eudora Welty


“If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, f it rips out your heart, that’s a good picture.” ~ Eddie Adams


“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough – there has to be vision, and the two together can make a good photograph.” ~ Robert Frank

“Artists don’t owe the world anything, least of all explanations.” ~ Sam Haskins


“Style is a repeated mistake.” ~ John Free


“Only in art can you make something that no one wants and still be considered successful.” ~ Bill Jay


“I have to admit that there is another reason I like photographers — they don’t tempt me to envy. The profession is short on dignity: Nearly everyone has fallen down, been the target of condescension, been harassed by security guards, and dropped expensive equipment. Almost all photographers have incurred large expenses in the pursuit of tiny audiences, finding that the wonder they’d hoped to share is something few want to receive. Nothing is so clarifying, for instance, as to stand through the opening of an exhibition to which only officials have come.” ~ Robert Adams



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