A photographer's main instrument is his eyes. Strange as it may seem, many photographers choose to use the eyes of another photographer, past or present, instead of their own. Those photographers are blind.

— Manuel Alvarez Bravo

The most terrific Manuel Alvarez Bravo quotes to discover and learn by heart

I think that light and shadow have exactly the same duality that exists between life and death.


I think that a visual artist's philosophy develops much more freely than a writer's or a thinker's philosophy. It is not so disciplined. The photographer works with both his eyes and his mind.


The word 'art' is very slippery. It really has no importance in relation to one's work. I work for the pleasure, for the pleasure of the work, and everything else is a matter for the critics.


One could think of a person who seems to have two opposing and contradictory sides to his personality; but it turns out that in the end the two sides are complementary. The same happens with an artist's work: deep down, what appear as contradictory sides are merely different registers, different aspects of the reality that the artist inhabits


There is no other art with as great a democratic capacity as photography.


Shoot what you see, not what you think.


I give the moment permanence.


Before the Conquest all art was of the people, and popular art has never ceased to exist in Mexico. The art called popular is fugitive in character, with less of the impersonal and intellectual characteristics of the schools. It is the work of talent nourished by personal experience and that of the community - rather than being taken from the experiences of painters in other times and other cultures.


I just get the will to do it. I don’t plan a photograph in advance… I work by impulse. No philosophy. No ideas. Not by the head but by the eyes. Eventually inspiration comes-instinct is the same as inspiration, and eventually it comes.