Life wanted faces that would express what we wanted to tell. Not just the unusual or striking face, but the face that would speak out the message from the printed page. I am always looking for some typical person or face that will tie the picture essay together in a human way.

— Margaret Bourke-White

The most tempting Margaret Bourke-White quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

Work is something you can count on, a trusted, lifelong friend who never deserts you.


Photography is a very subtle thing. You must let the camera take you by the hand, as it were, and lead you into your subject.


To understand another human being you must gain some insight into the conditions which made him what he is.


Nothing attracts me like a closed door. I cannot let my camera rest until I have pried it open.


The camera is a remarkable instrument.

Saturate yourself with your subject, and the camera will all but take you by the hand and point the way.


If you banish fear, nothing terribly bad can happen to you.


As photographers, we live through things so swiftly.

All our experience and training is focused toward snatching off the highlights... That all significant perfect moment, so essential to capture, is often highly perishable. There may be little opportunity to probe deeper.


I'm afraid my closely guarded solitude causes some hurt feelings now and then.

But how to explain, without wounding someone, that you want to be wholly in the world you are writing about, that it would take two days to get the visitor's voice out of the house so that you could listen to your own characters again?


The sights I have just seen [at Buchenwald] are so unbelievable that I don't think I'll believe them myself until I've seen the photographs.


The very secret of life for me, I believed, was to maintain in the midst of rushing events an inner tranquility.


If anyone gets in my way when I'm making a picture, I become irrational.

I'm never sure what I am going to do, or sometimes even aware of what I do-only that I want that picture.


It seems to me that while it is very important to get a striking picture of a line of smoke stacks or a row of dynamos, it is becoming more and more important to reflect that life that goes on behind these photographs. (1935)


About Margaret Bourke-White

Quotes 39 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Photographer
Birthday October 16

A kind of golden hour one remembers for a life time... Everything was touched with magic.


Nothing attracts me like a closed door.


We are in a privileged and sometimes happy position.

We see a great deal of the world. Our obligation is to pass it on to others.


The very secret of life for mewas to maintain in the midst of rushing events an inner tranquility. I had picked a life that dealt with excitement, tragedy, mass calamities, human triumphs and suffering. To throw my whole self into recording and attempting to understand these things, I needed an inner serenity as a kind of balance.


The element of discovery is very important.

I don't repeat myself well. I want and need that stimulus of walking forward from one new world to another.


Utter truth is essential...and to get that truth may take a lot of searching and long hours.


Work to me is a sacred thing.


The world was waiting to be full of discovery made(as a photographer) I could share the things I saw and would react to something all others might walk by.


By some special graciousness of fate I am deposited - as all good photographers like to be - in the right place at the right time. Go into it as young as possible. Bring all the asset you have and play to win.


I was to discover that the quest for human understanding is a lifetime one that has no end in sight.


I like to hide my camera and use a remote control, because then no one knows when I'm actually imprisoning their souls in the visual plane of thought or just sitting there, waiting, and then making time stop. The printed film is like a bell used to symbolize its hour. Except it stands for both that hour's and everything's sudden stopping.


"Utter truth is essential, and that is what stirs me when I look through the camera."


My idea of gardening is to discover something wild in my wood and weed around it with the utmost care until it has a chance to grow and spread.


Even while you're in dead earnest about your work, you must approach it with a feeling of freedom and joy; you must be loose-jointed, like a relaxed athlete.


You are responsible for what you have done and the people whom you have influenced.


Saturate yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the hand.


Life is beating against the school windows.

You must quickly open the doors and go out to learn that no door must be locked against you.


I have never forgotten a picture that I ever made.


I love to write out of doors and sleep out of doors, too.

If I sleep under the open sky it becomes part of the writing experience, part of my insulation from the world.


I have always thought that if I could turn back the pages of history and photograph one man, my choice would be Moses.


War makes its own morals.


A burning purpose attracts others who are drawn along with it and help fulfill it.


The beauty of the past belongs to the past.


Usually I object when someone makes over-much of men's work versus women's work, for I think it is the excellence of the results which counts.


A book, while it is being written, has an intense life of its own which you share.


If you want to photograph a man spinning, give some thought to why he spins.

Understanding for a photographer is as important as the equipment he uses.

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