by Jemma Brewitt
on October 9, 2017
5 min read

We all know that a picture speaks a thousand words, but what about the photographers who take those pictures? Let us inspire the photographer in you with quotes from some of the professionals out there. We’ve slipped in some of the submissions for Africa’s Photographer of the Year in the Africa Through My Lens category into this list of 28 inspirational quotes for photographers:

Jackal fighting in Africa

Matrishva Vyas: Two to Tango

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence” – Ansel Adams

Topi antelope fighting

Nimit Virdi: Topi Fight

“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

Jean Goldstone: Blue cheeked bee eaters

“When I have a camera in my hand, I know no fear” – Alfred Eisenstaedt

Close up of a zebra

Jane Pearce: Sunset at Phinda

“My life is shaped by the urgent need to wander and observe, and my camera is my passport” – Steve McCurry

John Mullineux: Stars Hotel

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is” – Anonymous

Cheetah sprinting

Chandrashekar Kalyanasundaram: Target Locked

“What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time” – John Berger

Common moorhen swimming with frog in beak, South Africa

John Mullineux: Never Give Up

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place. I’ve found it has little to do with things you see and everything to do with the way you see them” – Elliot Erwitt

Lion and her cub playing

Fransje van Riel: Lions bonding

“When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes” – Anonymous

Sunrise in Namibia

Brigitte Cottet: Sunrise in Namibia

“No place is boring if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film” – Robert Adams

Mike Walsh: Agama and Butterfly in Kgalagadi

“Photography is the story I fail to put into words” – Destin Sparks

San bushmen in the Namib desert

Ferdinand Veer: San and Moon

“The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed” – Anne Gedded

Close up of leopard walking

Nili Gudhka: Catwalk

“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop” – Ansel Adams

Lion stalking in the long grass

Jonty Tatz: Survey, Stalk, Survive

“Your first 10,000 photographs are the worst” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality” – Alfred Stieglitz

Owl flying at sunrise over flowers

John Mullineux: Dusk Owl Hunt

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment” – Robert Frank

Claudia Danowski: Hide

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever. It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything” – Aaron Siskind

Masai women laughing in black and white

Johanna Ban: To honour the strength of the African women and their dignity

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second” – Marc Riboud

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand” – Ansel Adams

Vervet monkey hanging upside down

Nimit Virdi: Up is down or is it up

“The camera makes your forget you’re there. It’s not like you are hiding but you forget, you are just looking so much” – Annie Leibovitz

Greg Metro: An Ethiopian Orthodox Priest

“A landscape image cuts across all political and national boundaries, it transcends the constraints of language and culture” – Charlie Waite

Neil Preyer: Monks Cowl Drakensberg

“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer” – Ansel Adams

Black and white leopard

Sean Brogan

“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce” – Karl Lagerfeld

View of Cape Town and Lion's Head

David Cox: Iconic view of an iconic city

“The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation” – Susan Meiselas

Elephants with a pink and blue sunset

Jackie Badenhorst: Twilight Moments

“Photography is a love affair with life” – Burk Uzzle

Wildebeest crossing a river in the Great Migration

Bethany Ogdon: Leaping into the Mara

“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, just take another shot” – Anonymous

3 owls looking at the camera

Beate Schwippert: 6 eyes

“If I could tell you the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera” – Lewis Hine

Male impala looking back at camera in Kruger South Africa

John Birch: Never Look Back

“In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated” – August Sander

A leopard cub closeup

Michael Raddal: The circle of life

“Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease” – Anonymous

Closeup of a lion

Laurence Connor: Contemplation