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“It’s about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I’m an amateur photographer, apart from being a professional one, and I think maybe my amateur pictures are the better ones.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I’ll always be an amateur photographer.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I’m not a serious photographer like many of my contemporaries. That is to say, I am serious about not being serious.” – Elliott Erwitt

“It’s just seeing – at least the photography I care about. You either see or you don’t see. The rest is academic. Anyone can learn how to develop. It’s how you organize what you see into a picture.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Making pictures is a very simple act. There is no great secret in photography…schools are a bunch of crap. You just need practice and application of what you’ve learned. My absolute conviction is that if you are working reasonably well the only important thing is to keep shooting…it doesn’t matter whether you are making money or not. Keep working, because as you go through the process of working things begin to happen.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Photography is pretty simple stuff. You just react to what you see, and take many, many pictures.” – Elliott Erwitt

“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 the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

“You can find pictures anywhere. It’s simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what’s around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.” – Elliott Erwitt

“If you keep your cool, you’ll get everything.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I wasn’t imposing my presence on anyone,..which is very important for a would- be journalist. I stayed back. Always let people be themselves.” – Elliott Erwitt

“After following the crowd for a while, I’d then go 180 degrees in the exact opposite direction. It always worked for me, but then again, I’m very lucky.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I don’t think you can create luck. You’re either lucky or you’re not. I don’t know if it’s really luck or if it’s just curiosity. I think the main ingredient, or a main ingredient for photography is curiosity. If you’re curious enough and if you get up in the morning and go out and take pictures, you’re likely to be more lucky than if you just stay at home.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.” – Elliott Erwitt

“The thing is that when you don’t carry a camera, that’s when you see pictures in particular, or at least that’s when you think you see pictures in particular. When you do carry it, if you do see one on the occasion that you do, you can take it.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Something catches your eye, or your interest. You attack it in some way or observe it in some way, and try to put it in some kind of form and take a picture. It’s as simple as that.” – Elliott Erwitt

“The work I care about is terribly simple. I observe, I try to entertain, but above all, I want pictures that are emotional.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I like things that have to do with what is real, elegant, well presented and without excessive style. In other words, just fine observation.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Now very often events are set up for photographers … The weddings are orchestrated about the photographers taking the picture, because if it hasn’t been photographed it doesn’t really exist.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Working myself into a position of total versatility, so that I can do anything I want to do at the time I want to do it. Whether I do it or not is another question.” – Elliott Erwitt

“You have to devote yourself totally to be successful at it.” – Elliott Erwitt

“All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Photography is a craft. Anyone can learn a craft with normal intelligence and application. To take it beyond the craft is something else. That’s when magic comes in. And I don’t know that there’s any explanation for that.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Good photography is not about ‘Zone Printing’ or any other Ansel Adams nonsense. It’s just about seeing. You either see, or you don’t see. The rest is academic. Photography is simply a function of noticing things. Nothing more.” – Elliott Erwitt

“You don’t study photography, you just do it.” – Elliott Erwitt

“Be sure to take the lens cap off before photographing.” – Elliott Erwitt

“A picture should be looked at – not talked about.” – Elliott Erwitt

“The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words.” – Elliott Erwitt

“My ‘work’ is about seeing not about ideas.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I don’t like explosions. I don’t mind progress. But digital photography has made every man, woman, child and chimpanzee a photographer of sorts and consequently has numbed down the general quality of photographs.” – Elliott Erwitt

“I don’t believe that photography can change the world, but it can show the world changing.” – Elliott Erwitt

View 12 Great Photographs By Elliot Erwitt here.

Watch videos on Elliot Erwitt here.

Read more quotes in The Essential Collection Quotes By Photographers.


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