Photojournalism and photography quotes

Quotes about photojournalism and photography


I , many years ago, felt that I had seen too much and didn't want to see any more tragedies in this world,
but unfortunately the world continues….history continues, to produce tragedies.
James Nachtwey.

"Photography can put a human face on a situation that would otherwise remain abstract or merely statistical.
Photography can become part of our collective consciousness and our collective conscience. It is a way to
remember history and to try not to relive the mistakes of the past".
James Nachtwey.

"Many people in this world do jobs that are dangerous and where their life is at risk and they feel that there is
some kind of value to their job… I guess that's how I feel about what I do. There is a social function to
documentary photography that is very important and it requires people to take risks".
James Nachtwey.

I'm a messenger. I don't want people to be concerned about me. I want them to be concerned about the people
in the pictures. I try to use whatever I know about photography to be of service to the people I'm photographing.
I'm trying not to create photographs that viewers will look at and think: "What a good photographer he is," or
"Look what an interesting composition he can make." I want the first impact, and by far the most powerful impact,
to be about an emotional, intellectual and moral reaction to what is happening to these people. I want my presence
to be transparent.
James Nachtwey.

I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten
and must not be repeated.
- James Nachtwey -

I want my work to become part of our visual history, to enter our collective memory and our collective conscience.
I hope it will serve to remind us that history's deepest tragedies concern not the great protagonists who set events
in motion but the countless ordinary people who are caught up in those events and torn apart by their remorseless fury.
I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and
must not be repeated.
- James Nachtwey -

I want to record history through the destiny of individuals who often belong to the least wealty classes. I do not want to
show war in general, nor history with a capital H, but rather the tragedy of a single man, of a family. -
James Nachtwey -

I used to call myself a war photographer. Now I consider myself as an antiwar photographer.-
James Nachtwey -

The worst thing is to feel that as a photographer I am benefiting from someone else's tragedy. This idea haunts me.
It's something I have to reckon with every day because I know that if I ever allowed genuine compassion to be overtaken
by personal ambition, I will have sold my soul. The only way I can justify my role is to have respect for the other person's
predicament. The extent to which I do that is the extent to which I become accepted by the other; and to that extent, I can
accept myself.
James Nachtwey -

Why photograph war? Is it possible to put an end to a form of human behavior, which has existed throughout history,
by the means of photography.
James Nachtwey:


In a way, if and individual assumes the risk of placing himself in the middle of a war to communicate to the rest of the
world what's happening, he's trying to negotiate for peace. Perhaps that's the reason for those in charge of perpetuating
the war do not like to have photographers around.
James Nachtwey -