A window covered with raindrops interests me more than a photograph of a famous person.

— Saul Leiter

The most lavish Saul Leiter quotes to get the best of your day

I don’t have a philosophy. I have a camera. I look into the camera and take pictures. My photographs are the tiniest part of what I see that could be photographed. They are fragments of endless possibilities.


I must admit that I am not a member of the ugly school.

I have a great regard for certain notions of beauty even though to some it is an old fashioned idea. Some photographers think that by taking pictures of human misery, they are addressing a serious problem. I do not think that misery is more profound than happiness.


I spent a great deal of my life being ignored.

I was always very happy that way. Being ignored is a great privilege. That is how I think I learned to see what others do not see and to react to situations differently. I simply looked at the world, not really prepared for anything.


I leave these speculations to others.

It’s quite possible that my work represents a search for beauty in the most prosaic and ordinary places. One doesn’t have to be in some faraway dreamland in order to find beauty.


I have a deep-seated distrust and even contempt for people who are driven by ambition to conquer the world … those who cannot control themselves and produce vast amounts of crap that no one cares about. I find it unattractive. I like the Zen artists: they’d do some work, and then they’d stop for a while.


If I’d only known which [photographs] would be very good and liked, I wouldn’t have had to do all the thousands of others.


Max Kozloff said to me one day, ‘You’re not really a photographer.

You do photography, but you do it for your own purposes – your purposes are not the same as others’. I’m not quite sure what he meant, but I like that. I like the way he put it.


I go out to take a walk, I see something, I take a picture.

I take photographs. I have avoided profound explanations of what I do.


In order to build a career and to be successful, one has to be determined.

One has to be ambitious. I much prefer to drink coffee, listen to music and to paint when I feel like it.


The important thing in life is not what you get, but what you throw out.


Seeing is a neglected enterprise.


I don’t have a philosophy. I have a camera.


About Saul Leiter

Quotes 18 sayings
Birthday December 3, 1923

When we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture and when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion.


I started out as a fashion photographer.

One cannot say that I was successful but there was enough work to keep me busy. I collaborated with Harper's Bazaar and other magazines. I was constantly aware that those who hired me would have preferred to work with a star such as Avedon. But it didn't matter. I had work and I made a living. At the same time, I took my own photographs. Strangely enough, I knew exactly what I wanted and what I liked.


There are the things that are out in the open and then there are the things that are hidden, and life has more to do, the real world has more to do with what is hidden, maybe. You think?


I admired a tremendous number of photographers, but for some reason I arrived at a point of view of my own.


Photography allows you to learn to look and see.

You begin to see things you'd never paid attention to.