Definition: Photog

Definition: Photog | Glossary entry


The colloquial term “photog” is a shortening of photographer. Often used to make the text snappy and cool, its use has increased over recent years. When bloggers use the term they are frequently referring to a regular camera user, keen hobbyist, amateur photographer, semi-pro or professional camera user. These are distinct from the person who takes the odd snap a few times a year.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word has been in use for over a century…

Definition: Photog - Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

Definition: Photog
From the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)

The term might seem like good fun and cool. However, it is frequently used to shorten the length of words in text about photography. Too many long words make the text less readable. Photography text is full of long words. These reduce the speed that people read. A snappy term helps make the text lighter.

As these quotes from the OED show, the word has a long history going back as far as 1898…

1898 – Daily Republican (Decatur, Illinois) 20 Oct. 2/2 (headline) Amateur Photogs. Mr Sargeant of New York will demonstrate the working of Velox Paper at our store this evening.
1952 – Daily News (N.Y.) 21 Aug. c4 The Swedish fotogs were actually saving film.
1973 – R. Parkes Guardians vi. 104 You’ll like that fashion photog of ours—what’s her name.
1995 – Denver Post 13 Sept. a2/1 He clobbered a photog lurking outside a hotel.
Oxford English Dictionary Seen online: 23/10/2013

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Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is managing editor of with professional experience in photography, writing, image libraries, and computing. He is also an experienced, webmaster and a trained teacher. Damon runs regular training for digital photographers who are just starting out.
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