Here’s a collection of quotes by photographer Jay Maisel.
“Always carry a camera; it’s tough to shoot a picture without one.” – Jay Maisel
“Never say you’re going back – SHOOT IT NOW!” – Jay Maisel
“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.” – Jay Maisel
“Try to go out empty and let your images fill you up.” – Jay Maisel
“Allow yourself to lose your way.” – Jay Maisel
“It’s always around. You just don’t see it.” – Jay Maisel
“If you can capture the element of surprise, you’re way ahead of the game.” – Jay Maisel
“You have to have a lot of ‘overage’ so that your failures aren’t the only thing you come home with. You’ve got to have a lot of things that were magnificent failures, but you want some magnificent successes.” – Jay Maisel
“There are rules about perception, but not about photography.” – Jay Maisel
“When finding the right angle for a shot…’Move your ass.’” – Jay Maisel
“You find that you have to do many things, more than just lift up the camera and shoot, and so you get involved in it in a very physical way. You may find that the picture you want to do can only be made from a certain place, and you’re not there, so you have to physically go there. And that participation may spur you on to work harder on the thing, . . . because in the physical change of position you start seeing a whole different relationship.” – Jay Maisel
“A photographer’s art is more in his perceptions than his execution. In a painter, I think the perception is only the first step, and then you have a kind of hard road of execution.” – Jay Maisel
“Be aware of every square millimeter of your frame.” – Jay Maisel
“You are responsible for every part of your image, even the parts you’re not interested in.” – Jay Maisel
“If you’re not shooting in the right direction, it doesn’t matter how well you’re shooting.” – Jay Maisel
“If the light is great in front of you, you should turn around and see what it is doing behind you.” – Jay Maisel
“As people, we love pattern. But interrupted pattern is more interesting.” – Jay Maisel
“Every picture should have a place you can go, a home, a climax.” – Jay Maisel
“Never put lettering in your photos unless you want it read.” – Jay Maisel
“I don’t see light as something that falls but as a positive force.” – Jay Maisel
“I’m a New Yorker. I don’t believe in air unless I can see it.” – Jay Maisel
“Each picture you take has power as long as it brings experience to the person who’s looking at it.” – Jay Maisel
“If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” – Jay Maisel
Looking for good books? Browse my Recommended Reading lists.
Topics include …
Creativity, Color, Graphic Design, Digital Photography, Photography Appreciation, Photography Theory, Photography Business, Important Thoughts, Cultures, Climate Change, Meditation and Journaling.
If you’re looking for great books on these subjects look at these books first.
Yes, these lists are missing some of the important classics in these fields that are less accessible and require more effort. Essential, clear, actionable – these are the criteria I’ve used for this selection.
These are some of the books that have changed my life. One of them might change yours too.
Here’s a collection of quotes by the inimitable photographer Weegee.
“My name is Weegee. I’m the world’s greatest photographer…” – Weegee
“I am a perfectionist. When I take a picture…it’s gotta be good.” – Weegee
“Weegee often said that he was, ‘A natural-born photographer, with hypo in my blood.” – Weegee
“Sure. I’d like to live regular. Go home to a good looking wife, a hot dinner, and a husky kid. But I guess I got film in my blood. I love this racket. It’s exciting. It’s dangerous. It’s funny. It’s tough. It’s heartbreaking.” – Weegee
“It’s been a strange [summer]…. I was sent by a magazine to photograph famous photographers…. Of course, I included myself.” – Weegee
“A good assignment to me is a good picture and a date. When I leave town I put a tablet in front of the girl’s house (as with George Washington): Weegee slept here.” – Weegee
“I’m no part time dilettante photographer, unlike the bartenders, shoe salesmen, floorwalkers plumbers, barbers, grocery clerks and chiropractors whose great hobby is their camera. All their friends rave about what wonderful pictures they take. If they’re so good, why don’t they take pictures full—time, for a living, and make floor walking, chiropractics, etc., their hobby? But everyone wants to play it safe. They’re afraid to give up their pay checks and their security they might miss a meal.” – Weegee
“If I had a picture of two handcuffed criminals being booked, I would cut the picture in half and get five bucks for each.” – Weegee
“To me a photograph is a page from life, and that being the case, it must be real.” – Weegee
“Many photographers live in a dream world of beautiful backgrounds. It wouldn’t hurt them to get a taste of reality to wake them up.” – Weegee
“Anyone who looks for life can find it… and they don’t need to photograph ashcans. The average camera fan reminds me of Pollyanna, with a lollypop in one hand and a camera in the other. You can’t be a Nice Nelly and take news pictures.” – Weegee
“There are photographic fanatics, just as there are religious fanatics. They buy a so-called candid camera… there is no such thing: it’s the photographer who has to be candid, not the camera.” – Weegee
“I had so many unsold murder pictures lying around my room…I felt as if I were renting out a wing of the City Morgue.” – Weegee
“I have no chips on my shoulder. I like to be constructive. As I have said, I have inspired many persons to take up photography. As a matter of fact, I inspire myself. (When I take a good picture I give myself a bonus.).” – Weegee
“So, keep your eyes open. If you see anything, take it. Remember – you’re as good as your last picture. One day you’re hero, the next day you’re a bum…” – Weegee
“News photography teaches you to think fast.” – Weegee
“To me, pictures are like blintzes – ya gotta get ‘em while they’re hot.” – Weegee
“When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track.” – Weegee
“People are so wonderful that a photographer has only to wait for that breathless moment to capture what he wants on film.” – Weegee
“What I did, anybody can do.” – Weegee
Read more Quotes By Photographers here.
Marshall Poe offers a short and insightful rumination on changing practices and perceptions in war photography in this chapter of his video series History Through Images.
View more Photography Videos here.