Lessons from Masters, Photography

13 Quotes on Photography

1. “Select a topic close to your home or heart. Make it a project with a goal. It does not matter if it is short or long term, dark and heavy, easygoing and lighthearted. What matters is that the project should benefit others in some way.” – Krishna Madhavan Pillai

© Krishna Madhavan Pillai

2. “While you may shoot weddings, sports, candid, portraits, etc. it is important to know which type of photography you excel in and enjoy the most. Marketing yourself as a specialist in wedding photography, for example, makes your name the first to pop up in people’s minds when deciding on a photographer for their wedding.” –Jehan Lalkaka

3. “In a photograph, if I am able to evoke not alone a feeling of the reality of the surface physical world but also a feeling of the reality of existence that lies mysteriously and invisibly beneath its surface, I feel I have succeeded. At their best, photographs as symbols not only serve to help illuminate some of the darkness of the unknown, they also serve to lessen the fears that too often accompany the journeys from the known to the unknown.” –Wynn Bullock (1902-1975)

© Wynn Bullock

4. “I am struggling and deeply unhappy of my inability to photograph. It is not that I have completely relinquished photography. I still make pictures, but it appears to be devoid of any form of worthiness. What does a photograph of sanity or normalcy look like anyway? Does it hold the same charge as that of a picture birthed out of a mind forced into compulsion?” –Conchita Fernandes

5. “We make pictures. At the end of the day, we create something potentially significant that did not exist at the beginning of the day. We go forward, despite the uncertainty. Because this is an act of love and passion, which defies reason and prudence.” –Joe McNally (1952)

© Joe McNally

6. “You find photographs in so many different ways-from chance encounters, from looking at your negatives, from the way the light hits your pillow in your home, from a sound or a movement that makes you look… It’s whatever draws you or makes you feel something. Then, the picture is only good if it has a life of its own. Every photo is almost fiction or a dream. If it’s really good, it’s another form of life. –Sylvia Plachy (1943)

© Sylvia Plachy

7. “The meaning and value of a photograph is just as much in the presentation as it is within the content and context of the image. The greatest or most popular artists have always understood this. relationship between art, the viewer, and the time, space, light and manner in which a piece of art is viewed. There have been many examples of great works of art commissioned and work accepted on the basis of where, when, how and to whom it will be visible. This is not different with photographers.. There was a point when art galleries were the only places where one could view a collection of art, or the works of an artist. It still remains an extremely significant way to appreciate art, but it is not the only way.” –K Madhavan Pillai

8. “Through a portrait, we can potentially see everything – the history and depth of a person’s life, as well as evidence of a primal universal presence. I have dedicated my life and creative energy to capturing these transcendent moments in which a connection is made between the subject, the photographer, and the viewer.” –Joyce Tenneson (1945)

© Joyce Tenneson

9. “You also need to ask yourself, why do you photograph the way you do? Is it because of the kind of imagery that you associate the genre or subject matter with?” –Conchita Fernandes

10. “I think that a photograph of a face that’s been through a lot, a face with emotion, tells more than pages of words. The photograph makes people identify with and often feel something for the person because they can see that person is real. We never can quite tell if the story is real when it’s an essay without photographs. The photos give it a reality.” –Donna Ferrato (1949)

© Donna Ferrato

11. “I believe that moments are like birds, waiting for the right time to unfurl its wings and take off. Moments are also fleeting, and are ready to happen anywhere. In that sense, there is no correct time or place to make a picture. The question is, how bad do you want it?” –Conchita Fernandes

12. “Poets use metaphors and symbolism to construct images. I construct my images in the same way, except that I am using a different form.” –Shirin Neshat (1957)

© Shirin Neshat

13. “In a photograph, if I am able to evoke not alone a feeling of the reality of the surface physical world but also a feeling of the reality of existence that lies mysteriously and invisibly beneath its surface, I feel I have succeeded. At their best, photographs as symbols not only serve to help illuminate some of the darkness of the unknown, they also serve to lessen the fears that too often accompany the journeys from the known to the unknown.” -Wynn Bullock (1902-1975)

These quotes are collected from Better Photography Magazine’s Perspective Section.