Photo shoot vs. photoshoot

  • Photoshoot is a compound word in the making, but it is not yet fully accepted. For as long as the words photo and shoot have been commonly used together—which is only a couple of decades—the two-word form, photo shoot, has always been the more common by a large margin and remains so today. The hyphenated form, photo-shoot, began to catch on fairly early, but now that form is surpassed by photoshoot, which, as of 2013, is fast gaining ground.


    In current searches of news publishers with content available online—these tend to be at the forefront of usage trends—photo shoot still appears about three times for every two instances of photoshootPhotoshoot was almost nonexistent just a decade ago, though, suggesting that English’s compounding impulse is working fast in this case.


    Of the main parts of the English-speaking world, the U.K. is most accepting of the one-word form; it now appears about once for every instance of photo shoot. The one-word form is still relatively rare in the U.S., though scattered instances are easily found in edited texts of the last couple of years.

    The hyphenated form, meanwhile, is almost nonexistent in 2013.


    1. I prefer the one-word form myself.

    2. Crystal Reed says

      I think it should be photoshoot instead of photo-shoot/photo shoot.

    3. I assume this is a 2013 article. I’m curious to know if usage of the compound form has changed. I came here after being prompted by the spell-checker in Google Docs to use the one-word form.

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