What is the proper English word that means a publication (e.g. in a paper or online) consisting of a series of photographs along with short author’s comments? Here is a live example of such publication. Can it be called a photo report (and if yes, then photo report or photoreport?), or there is another established term for it?

  • I'm not sure we've got a settled word for this. Different publications will brand these stories differently - the Washington Post calls them "visual stories".
    – John Feltz
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 21:34
  • 1
    I am informed that when such photo-heavy articles appeared in Playboy magazine back in the 1960s and 1970s, they were termed pictorials.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 1:08

3 Answers 3


This is sometimes referred to as photojournalism or a photo-essay.

The links above are to Wikipedia, but here are definitions from Oxford English Dictionary:

Photo-essay: A series of thematically related photographs, usually supplemented or linked together by a narrative text or commentary; an essay, biography, etc., consisting of numerous photographs, with or without accompanying textual matter.

This definition is first cited in 1948.

The Atlantic Coast Exhibition by Eliot Elisofon, a Life Magazine photo essay, closes this week end.

  • 1948 Portland (Maine) Press Herald 5 Nov. 15/5

Photojournalism: The use of photographs in journalism; journalism consisting primarily of photographs.

The first citation of this term is from 1938:

While Photo-Journalism is a comparatively new development in America, it has already taken quite an important position in Europe, where it developed during the past ten years.

  • 1938 A. Eisenstaedt in W. D. Morgan & H. M. Lester Miniature Camera Wk. iv. 67/1
  • Did I understand properly that photojournalism is an occupation, and photo-essay is a resulting product of this occupation?
    – user279052
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 21:39
  • @HydrochoerusHydrochaeris photojournalism can refer either to the act or the product. You could say "There was some great photojournalism in that magazine." You could also say "For a living I work in photojournalism." Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 21:42
  • Could I say “Today I came across three great photojournalisms”, or only “…three great photo-essays”?
    – user279052
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 21:48
  • 1
    The former would be unusual. You might say "Today I came across three pieces of great photojournalism." Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 21:52

Your link points to what is colloquially called a "photoblog" or a "photolog". It is rooted in the concatenation of "photo" and "blog". However, it is not recognized as an official word by OED or Webster (yet).

Photoblog : Oxford Living Dictionaries

photoblog NOUN

A blog in which the postings are primarily in the form of photographs.

‘I'm helping them set up a photoblog which will hopefully give everyone a chance to see some of those amazing pictures’

Wikipedia has an entry.

  • How would you call this kind of story, if its contents and composition were similar to my link, but published not on the Internet, but, say, in a paper magazine in 1970s?
    – user279052
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 21:51

photo story OED

n. a story with accompanying photographs; (in early use also occasionally) a story told in photographic form, a film.

As in:

1992 Working on her photography in the late '40s, she succeeded in getting a major photostory published in the London-based ‘Picture Post’.

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