Photo Session not Photo Shoot

December 01, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Lately, I’ve been unsettled by how much "shot" and "shoot" are used in photography. 

To be fair, I was a proud member of SportShooter in it's heyday and I am just as guilty of continuing the language when I created the Shoot Like Shirley contest (I love a good alliteration) But that was then. It feels as though there are far too many shootings of the gun violence variety, to casually use the word shoot in relation to something as harmless as photography.

Currently, I’m working on finding good substitutes. So far I've come up with

photo shoot ➡️ photo session / assignment / event

headshot ➡️ portrait

shot list ➡️ photo list / run of show / image needs)

Check It

This is going to be difficult. It's so commonplace that it doesn't necessarily feel violent when you say it. Also, I don't know what I'm going to do in relation to basketball captions "shoots the ball". And I do enjoy the earnestness of "shoot your shot!"

How about you?

What terms do you use for a photo session/assignment/event? Would love to hear your suggestions. Or if you are outside of the photography world, what are some of the words your industry uses that you would like to see altered?


Even if you don't agree with me and feel like geeze, even photography has been taken over by "the woke", it's a fun challenge to try to change your language. You could try with something unrelated to inclusive non-violent language. Say you always use "e-mail" see how hard it is to replace it with "e-message" or "online-mail" just for the spirit of seeing how challenging it is to change vocabulary.



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I am a sports photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I primarily photograph sports (action, events, and portraits) ... and my feet.




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