What Makes a Good Photograph?

Best Tips and Quotes from famous Photographers to help you create a good photograph

Photography is not just about the image. It’s also about the process, which can sometimes make an image more powerful than the subject matter itself. Photography is not just about capturing the moment. It’s about taking part in an emotional experience. The following quotes will inspire you to find your own way with photography, whatever your style.

1. “A photograph is worth a thousand words.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

2. “A photograph is a kind of poetry.” – Edward Steichen

3. “A photograph is the most fragile thing you can capture on film. It can be destroyed and still remain a record.” – Ansel Adams

4. “I like to see a picture I took because I took it, rather than because it was taken by me.” – Robert Frank

5. “A photograph is the art of discovering the world around you.” – Annie Liebowitz

6. “Photography has the same relationship to the arts as electricity has to the world.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

7. “If you cannot do something, then just photograph it.” – Lee Friedlander

8. “The great beauty of photography is that anyone can do it.” – Paul Strand

9. “An image is never fixed. It exists only in the mind of the viewer.” – Ansel Adams

10. “There is no such thing as good or bad photography. There are only pictures.” – Ansel Adams

11. “I do not think of the camera as a painting. I think of the painting as a camera.” – William Eggleston

12. “It is more important to be interested in your subjects than in your equipment.” – Ansel Adams

13. “The whole of photography is to get the exact point of a view which you have caught on film.” – Alfred Stieglitz

14. “A photograph is a secret about a secret.” – Annie Leibovitz

15. “Photography is not an easy form of expression. It’s not like writing or painting. When you are working with light and shadow, you are constantly concerned about the effect of the overall picture, the balance of light and dark areas, and with the relationships between objects and spaces. You are always concerned with what you are doing as a whole, and not what is happening in any one small area. This is a continuous process that requires a high degree of concentration.” – Susan Meiselas

16. “A photograph should not be seen as a reproduction of nature, but as an extension of it.” – Elliott Erwitt

17. “My aim as a photographer is to make people look at their lives differently.” – David Bailey

18. “Photography is the most truthful of the arts.” – Dorothea Lange

20. “You must photograph what you love. If you love people, photograph people.” – Lee Friedlander

21. “My interest in the visual image goes back to the days when I was a painter.” – Richard Avedon

22. “Photography is a kind of seeing. It’s a strange magic that sees what is invisible and reveals what is hidden.” – Bruce Davidson

23. “In the end, the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know nothing is to be alive.” – Albert Einstein

24. “I believe that photographs are the only documents of the future, and that they will have to be more truthful and reliable than history books.” – Sebastião Salgado

25. “A photograph can be a lie, and yet it is the truth.” – Susan Meiselas

26. “When you look at a photograph, you are looking at a slice of time.” – Sally Mann

27. “I can’t imagine anything more boring than being bored with photography.” – Elliott Erwitt

28. “People tend to think of a photograph as a dead object, but it’s not. It’s a document of life.” – Richard Avedon

29. “Photography is to be honest, not false.” – Susan Meiselas

30. “When you have taken a perfect photograph, it doesn’t make a perfect photograph of you. It makes a perfect photograph.” – Elliott Erwitt

31. “I’m not a photographer. I’m a painter of light and shade.” – Man Ray

32. “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” – Diane Arbus

33. “A photograph tells a lie only if you believe the lie.” – Susan Meiselas

34. “A photograph is a lie that tells the truth.” – Susan Meiselas

35. “The most successful photographers are those who take risks with their images.” – Annie Leibovitz

36. “A photograph is an object that lies.” – Bruce Davidson

37. “The real function of a photograph is not to reproduce the world, but to capture a moment in time.” – Elliott Erwitt

38. “A photograph is the only evidence you have that someone else ever experienced anything.” – Susan Meiselas