I don't know where should we use photograph, where picture and where photo.

Are there and difference in meaning.



When it comes to the image or visual representation of a person or thing produced on paper or a similar surface by a camera or photography, the words photograph, photo and picture are the same and used widely and interchangeably in our daily life.

Photo is the abbreviated form of photograph, which is more common in informal English.

As for the word picture, it can be used not only for a photograph but also for a painting or drawing. The image on the screen of TV, video, computer, is also a picture.

If you look up this word in a dictionary, you'll find many more meanings.


A photo is exclusively an image captured by a camera. A picture can be a photo, as well as any other sort of drawing, painting, or rendering.

Photo is short for photograph and they are interchangeable. The word photograph itself is quickly fading into obsolescence.

  • 4
    You may be stretching it a bit too far with your obsolescence statement: books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Jim
    Jan 26 '15 at 4:24
  • 1
    Great graph! It's entirely possible. I noticed the graph only goes to 2000. That's fifteen years of digital photography ago. I did a chart of telephone vs phone: books.google.com/ngrams/… I figure this will follow the same path. Jan 26 '15 at 4:32
  • Google actually allows dates up to 2008. Here's another where I also added victrola and phonograph which really are becoming obsolete. photograph still far exceeds these in usage and not the dropoff in use of both photo and photograph have essentially the same slope.books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Jim
    Jan 26 '15 at 5:27

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