Kodak moment

(informal) A sentimental or charming moment worthy of capturing in a photograph.

Is there another word(s) to describe such a moment? (Something not simply a slang)

Does picturesque suit here?

Closest I've got is photo worthy. I've also considered photo op or photo opportunity, but that deals mostly with promoting celebrities with photos.

  • Photo opportunity.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 19:37
  • Yeah, I had the same qualms about photo op being applied, in practice, in situations involving politicians and celebrities.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 19:42
  • I would suppose that "selfie moment" will gain some traction eventually.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 21:21
  • iPhone instant. Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 22:10
  • Photogenic works for breathtakingly beautiful people, but I'm, not sure if it fits glorious mountains, etc. Or does it?
    – Rob_Ster
    Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 22:33

3 Answers 3


I think that some ad agency devised "Kodak moment" as a knowing rip-off of (or should I say "a heartfelt homage to"?) Henri Cartier-Bresson's famous notion of the decisive moment. Cartier-Bresson's idea seems to be in line with what you have in mind about recording a meaningful event in a photograph. Here is a brief discussion from his Wikipedia page of "the decisive moment":

In 1952, Cartier-Bresson published his book Images à la sauvette, whose English-language edition was titled The Decisive Moment. It included a portfolio of 126 of his photos from the East and the West. The book's cover was drawn by Henri Matisse. For his 4,500-word philosophical preface, Cartier-Bresson took his keynote text from the 17th century Cardinal de Retz, "Il n'y a rien dans ce monde qui n'ait un moment decisif" ("There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment"). Cartier-Bresson applied this to his photographic style. He said: "Photographier: c'est dans un même instant et en une fraction de seconde reconnaître un fait et l'organisation rigoureuse de formes perçues visuellement qui expriment et signifient ce fait" ("To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.").

I think Kodak began using the term "Kodak moment" some time in the late 1960s or early 1970s. "Decisive moment" may sound a bit hoity-toity for everyday photography, but setting aside Cartier-Bresson's uncanny skill at capturing people and other things in motion, it can be understood as asserting that even seemingly mundane scenes may have a crucial instant of revelation where a photograph can capture something elusive in a lasting and perhaps profound way.


I can't find a reference but I've heard picture perfect moment used before.

A google search for picture perfect moment yields close to 40 million hits.


While it is not limited to visual stimuli, you might consider magical

Beautiful or delightful in such a way as to seem removed from everyday life: it was a magical evening of pure nostalgia

Oxford Dictionaries Online


  • enchanting
  • captivating
  • entrancing
  • idyllic
  • bewitching

Note that all of these terms are more frequently used with grander events. They may not fully suggest those quotidian moments that are also well worthy of capturing in mind, film or pixel.

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