Photo and shoot are two words with distinct meanings. But if you combine them, should you write them as one word or two? Let’s illustrate the issue. Imagine you have a group of friends. You know and trust each other well. Then, a new guy moves into the neighborhood and starts hanging out with you and your friends. You might not mind his presence, but knowing and trusting him as you do your buddies can take time. In fact, you may never become as close to him as you are with your old companions. This article will discuss how photoshoot and photo shoot are like new associates, and whether you should put a space between photo and shoot when you write it.

To start, the term in question refers to a session with a photographer. During the session, the photographer shoots (takes) photographs of a model, animal, or object. He might capture shots in various poses and lighting. Afterward, he can choose the best pictures.

From the beginning, it was most popular to write this term as two words. Would you like to see an example? The following quote is from US Weekly:

Katherine and Jesse Oldfield are now parents of two little internet celebrities after their Harry Potter–themed baby photo shoot went viral on Facebook, with 54,000 likes and nearly 90,000 shares.

A variant, photo-shoot, quickly arose. It is not very common today. You’ll have a hard time finding it, especially in American English. Most recently, people have started to eliminate the space between photo and shoot. It’s like the new guy in the group. Some people have not fully embraced it. Of all the English-speaking parts of the world, Britain is the most welcoming of it. Here are some international examples:

Honestly, it is just too much cuteness in one photoshoot. The Webb quads from Canada – Abigail, Mckayla, Grace and Emily – have been featured in a new series of baby photos. The two-month-old identical sisters were photographed by Cassandra Jones of Noelle Mirabella Photography in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
Stuff (New Zealand)

Brooklyn Beckham’s hotly-anticipated photoshoot for Burberry has finally been unveiled—and the photos are incredible. The Burberry Brit fragrance campaign is the first high-profile shoot by the budding 17-year-old photographer, and is sure to be the first of many.
Huffington Post (United Kingdom)

Photo shoot, written as two words, is the most widespread variant for describing a photo session in the United States. Photo-shoot is so rare that some view it as a distracting error. Photoshoot, written as one word, is becoming more popular, but it hasn’t replaced photo shoot yet. Look back at the last quote from the Huffington Post. In the second sentence, they omit photo and refer to a session as a shoot. What do you think of the newer additions to English (photoshoot and shoot)? Are you ready to welcome them with open arms or will you stick with the traditional two-word term?

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