62 David Bailey Quotes On Photographer and Painter

The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading.

Anybody can be a great photographer if they zoom in enough on what they love.

It takes a lot of imagination to be a good photographer. You need less imagination to be a painter because you can invent things. But in photography everything is so ordinary; it takes a lot of looking before you learn to see the extraordinary.

I always go for simplicity.

The skull is nature’s sculpture.

You can’t really copy what I do because I don’t do anything.

It’s not about composition. It’s the way you feel about how your objects should relate to each other. I’ve got lots of African statues and things, and the cleaner arranges them like soldiers, which drives me mad. So I have to rearrange them, and I must drive her mad, because I’m doing anarchy and she’s doing military manoeuvres.

Being handsome wasn’t much of a burden. It worked for me.

It’s not about composition. It’s the way you feel about how your objects should relate to each other. I’ve got lots of African statues and things, and the cleaner arranges them like soldiers, which drives me mad. So I have to rearrange them, and I must drive her mad, because I’m doing anarchy and she’s doing military manoeuvres.

Girls are more attractive to me than dresses.

I never tried to revolutionise photography; I just do what I do and keep my fingers crossed that people will like it

In New York, everyone’s desperate for success, desperate for money and desperate to be accepted, but in London they’re more laid back about things like that.

I didn’t try and do fashion pictures. I tried to do portraits of girls wearing dresses.

I never tried to revolutionise photography; I just do what I do and keep my fingers crossed that people will like it.

Being trendy is dangerous. I’ve never been trendy, which is why I’ve never really fallen out of favour.

It always amazes me when people ask you to do something and then tell you how to do it.

You have to kind of be invisible when you photograph children, so you use a longer lens.

Everyone gets old – there’s nothing you can do about it.

People want security in this insecure world.

Rockers are the nicest people to photograph. They have no inhibitions.

London changes because of money. It’s real estate. If they can build some offices or expensive apartments they will, it’s money that changes everything in a city.

I hate being so nostalgic about the Sixties.

Being dyslexic, I was told that I was an idiot all the time.

I don’t see the point of photographing trees or rocks because they’re there and anyone can photograph them if they’re prepared to hang around and wait for the light.

I know everything should be photographed. It helps me make sense of my existence.

Instead of putting someone in prison for being a hooligan, give him a choice. He may have beaten someone up and he’s got eight years, but tell him you can do eight years inside or spend five years in the Army. Put him in the Parachute Regiment, they’d soon sort him out.

I suppose because my work was so popular people didn’t really look at it.

I love people for giving me their time. It’s a privilege – I make the most of it.

My friends are all megalomaniacs – from Damien Hirst to Jack Nicholson – all of them.

There’s nothing wrong with being a fashion photographer, but it’s a bit limited.

The only thing they can’t teach you at art school is art.

I don’t think my work does reflect my nationality – I don’t like the idea of nationalism.

I don’t like any sport except boxing and bull fighting.

Every man who is high up loves to think that he has done it all himself; and the wife smiles, and lets it go at that.

It is a sign of a dull nature to occupy oneself deeply in matters that concern the body; for instance, to be over much occupied about exercise, about eating and drinking, about easing oneself, about sexual intercourse.

I don’t think my work does reflect my nationality – I don’t like the idea of nationalism.

It is a sign of a dull nature to occupy oneself deeply in matters that concern the body; for instance, to be over much occupied about exercise, about eating and drinking, about easing oneself, about sexual intercourse.

All pictures are unnatural. All pictures are sad because they’re about dead people. Paintings you don’t think of in a special time or with a specific event. With photos I always think I’m looking at something dead.

I never cared for fashion much, amusing little seams and witty little pleats: it was the girls I liked.

I could develop a picture by the time I was 12.

I never set out to be a photographer.

You adapt to who you’re photographing.

I’ve always tried to do pictures that don’t date.

My exploits are nothing now to the average person.

I’ve never been anti-women.

The reason I did fashion was it was the only way to get paid to do anything creative. You couldn’t support yourself as an ‘artist’ – I hate that word. The only way you could be ‘arty’ was as a fashion photographer, because it still had a certain amount of integrity involved.

I’ve been used by women all my life, fortunately.

All I could do at school was paint and draw and that was the only time I ever passed any exam. It was the only thing I ever got right at school.

I just thought it was magic that you could stick a bit of paper in some coffee-type liquid and a picture comes out.

I left school on my 15th birthday.

My first influence obviously was Picasso.

I was dyslexic, so I was put in the silly class at school.

I guess I’m the last of the Cockneys.

I sort of fall in love with them when I’m photographing them – men and women.

Fortunately I didn’t get educated because if I’d got educated I’d be an educated fool now.

I was ten when I got my first serious beating. It was rough.

I was a terrible father. The most I ever did for my children was to teach them chess. At least they got that.

In France they don’t think I’m difficult.

Rather than knowing more, I think I’ve got more open-minded.

I hate men who are in touch with their feminine side.

I like change. There’s something Buddhist about it – continuous change is wonderful.

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