- Photography: The 50 Most Influential Photographers of All Time
- The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present
- A World History of Photography
- Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital
- Masters of Photography: Classic photographic artists of our time.
- Ansel Adams: The camera
- Imogen Cunningham: Portraiture
- Man Ray Photographs
- Henri Cartier Bresson-The mind’s eye
- Robert Frank- You would
- 2013 Photographer's Market: The Most Trusted Guide to Selling Your Photography
- Best Business Practices for Photographers
- The Fast Track Photographer Business Plan: Build a Successful Photography Venture from the Ground Up
- Group Portrait Photography Handbook
- The Best of Family Portrait Photography: Professional Techniques and Images
- 500 Poses for Photographing Group PortraitsSelling Your Photography: How to Make Money in New and Traditional Markets
- Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer
- Photographer's Survival Manual: A Legal Guide for Artists in the Digital Age
- Legal Handbook for Photographers: The Rights and Liabilities of Making Images
- Taking Stock: Make money in microstock creating photos that sell
- Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer
We, as photographers, are lucky to be working in an artistic field that has given the world some of the most influential personalities of modern culture. Their work inspires us to pick up a camera and express ourselves, or reminds us that we can always do better, and that the real creative limitations are the ones we impose upon ourselves. Their photographs help us evolve but their words are often equally inspiring. These are a few photography quotes that have shaped the history of photography, and sometimes have written it. I have added a personal interpretation to each of them. These are my personal thoughts on the meaning of these inspirational quotes and in no way do they limit the possibilities of interpretation.
“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” - Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams’ work was created many years ago, when photographers couldn’t come close to imagining the technological advantages of today. Yet I believe this idea is more alive today than ever. So many photographers spend thousands of dollars on the best cameras and the best lenses, without investing a minimum amount of time and resources into who they are as a creative. Shooting with the best glass and the fancy lights will make you a professional tool handler, but never an artist or a creative person. That takes time, culture, and determination.
“Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference” - Robert Frank
You may think you are only there to capture the moment without intefering, but you are wrong. The simple fact that you pick up your camera and point it something or someone is a reaction that is by no means indifferent. You are making a record in a personal way and one one never knows when a photograph can turn into a symbol or a historic document seen by the entire world. We are all witnesses to the grand show of life and thanks to the amazing possiblities of sharing that we have today, we are all actors in this show.
“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson
Bresson made this statement at a time when 10,000 photos meant a lot of film rolls and photographers actually took a second to think before they pressed the shutter release. Still, it is a timeless testimony that no one is born with the skill and the knowledge. There is , of course, no actual number of photos that you have to take before you can call yourself a good photographer, but you should expect a lot of hard work and struggle before you will be noticed as a valuable talent.
“For me, the subject of the picture is always more important than the picture.” - Diane Arbus
Arbus was a genius. She had a unique understanding of everything and everyone she photographed and that made her one of a kind in the history of photography. A lot about the impact of a photograph lies in its ability to tell a story. As a phorogorapher, you should have a basic awareness of what you’re photographing, regardless if it’s an object or a president. Going to work without having a minimum interest in your subject will show in your photos and it will probably translated in a lack of „spark” that connects with the viewer.
„Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information”. - Man Ray
This pretty much speaks for itself. There are two kinds of photographers : the ones that enjoy using their cameras and gear and who always buy new ones, and the ones to which the message and the way it is sent that are the most important.
„Remember that the person you are photographing is 50% of the portrait and you are the other 50%. You need the model as much as he or she needs you. If they don’t want to help you, it will be a very dull picture.” - Lord Patrick Lichfield , British Royal Family Photographer
One might be tempted to see this as an excuse. After all, it’s true. You are only part of what makes the whole picture. But that again, your job is so much more than setting the lights, framing and pushing the button. If the person you’re photographing doesn’t want to help you, it’s your job to do the best you can to turn them around. This is when being a good, interesting person helps.
Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow . – Imogen Cunningham
I think a lot of people can relate to this. There probably aren’t many photographers in the world who are truly, 100% satisfied with their work and feel no need for improvement. We all compare ourselves with our peers from time to time , and while I think it is generally more harmful than beneficial, it does make you push yourself forward.That is if motivation isn’t already „built in” and you have the belief that you can do better without looking at another photographer’s work. Either weay, it is essential to progress to have good ideas. What truly matters though is acting and making them happen.
Read more about and from the masters of photography from these books:
Check out: THE 19 MOST EXPENSIVE PHOTOGRAPHS EVER SOLD
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