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Here’s a selection of my favorite quotes by Minor White.

“Photography is a language more universal than words.” – Minor White

“At first glance a photograph can inform us. At second glance it can reach us.” – Minor White

“There’s no particular class of photograph that I think is any better than any other class. I’m always and forever looking for the image that has spirit! I don’t give a damn how it got made.” – Minor White

“A very receptive state of mind… not unlike a sheet of film itself – seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second’s exposure conceives a life in it.” – Minor White

“…innocence of eye has a quality of its own. It means to see as a child sees, with freshness and acknowledgment of the wonder; it also means to see as an adult sees who has gone full circle and once again sees as a child – with freshness and an even deeper sense of wonder.” – Minor White

“Photographers who come up with power never get accused of imitating anyone else even though they photograph the same broom, same street, same portraits.” -Minor White

“The photographer projects himself into everything he sees, identifying himself with everything in order to know it and to feel it better.” – Minor White

“When I looked at things for what they are I was fool enough to persist in my folly and found that each photograph was a mirror of my Self.” – Minor White

“…all photographs are self-portraits.” – Minor White

“Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence.” – Minor White

“No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.” – Minor White

“One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.” – Minor White

“While we cannot describe its appearance (the equivalent), we can define its function. When a photograph functions as an Equivalent we can say that at that moment, and for that person the photograph acts as a symbol or plays the role of a metaphor for something that is beyond the subject photographed.” – Minor White

“It is curious that I always want to group things, a series of sonnets, a series of photographs; whatever rationalizations appear, they originate in urges that are rarely satisfied with single images.” – Minor White

“To engage a sequence we keep in mind the photographs on either side of the one in our eye.” – Minor White

“In putting images together I become active, and excitement is of another order – synthesis overshadows analysis.” – Minor White

“Before he has seen the whole, how unusually perceptive and imaginative the person must be to evolve the entire sequence by meditating on its single, pair, or triplet of essential images.” – Minor White

“Reaching a ‘creative’ state of mind thru positive action is considered preferable to waiting for ‘inspiration’.” – Minor White

“I have often photographed when I am not in tune with nature but the photographs look as if I had been. So I conclude that something in nature says, ‘Come and take my photograph.’ So I do, regardless of how I feel.” – Minor White

“When gifts are given to me through my camera, I accept them graciously.” – Minor White

“I’m always mentally photographing everything as practice.” – Minor White

“We could teach photography as a way to make a living, and best of all, somehow to get students to experience for themselves photography as a way of life.” – Minor White 

Read more photographer’s quotes here.

View photographer’s favorite quotes here.


  • garirae

    These are much needed quotes that help me trust my instincts in creating images. Especially those re quieting myself until my subject “affirms” my presence. Only then do I allow “being in the zone” to happen.

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