'Photo Shoot' or 'Photoshoot'?

A usage issue finds its light

Planning to devote a photography session to capturing the essence of your boo, your baby, or your brunch? We have no opinions on the object of your photographic eye. Our concern is this: will you call it a ‘photo shoot’ or a ‘photoshoot’?

man taking photo of woman in studio

The camera loves language change

While photo shoot and photoshoot are both accepted stylings of the compound term, photo shoot is more common. It’s also the styling that the Associated Press uses and that those who offer advice on such things advise. But this is not to say that photoshoot is incorrect; it gets plenty of formal and informal use and may very well someday be the dominant styling.

Compound terms have a tendency to begin open—that is, with a space between their elements—then to be styled with a hyphen, and eventually to be mashed together into a single word. For example, the word referring to the U.S.’s national pastime began as base ball and spent some time as base-ball before settling into its baseball form. (We offer a full treatment of the styling of compound terms here.)

While photo shoot has the feature spread for now, photoshoot may have the final say.

More Commonly Confused Compounds

Is it one word or two? 27 words with commonly confused spacings