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Photography Words

It's easy to get a bit confused when talking about la fotografia (photography) in Italian. English and Italian differ in an unexpected way. In English we use a preposition: a picture of you, him, her, etc. In Italian, however, we use a personal pronoun that agrees with foto (photo, picture). Although we can safely say that foto means "photo," and fotografia (aside from meaning "photography") means "photograph," we just need to remember that la foto, being an informal abbreviated form of fotografia, is the same in the singular and plural (la foto, le foto). In the example below, we see there are three photos, so in this case foto is clearly plural, and therefore tue (your) agrees with the plural status of foto. A little tricky! Fotografia on the other hand has a normal plural: fotografie



Guarda, abbiamo scelto tre foto tue...

Look, we've chosen three photos of you...

Caption 33, Che tempo che fa - Monica Bellucci

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Remember also that in English, we take a picture, but in Italian we "make" a photo!


Io ho fatto una fotografia di un grande

I took a picture of a great,

broccolo romano, bellissimo.

beautiful Romanesque cauliflower (or Romanesco broccoli).

Caption 36, L'arte della cucina - I Luoghi del Mondo

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We can also scattare una foto (take a picture). Learn more about the verb scattare here. The verb scattare has to do with the spring action of pressing the button on the camera to fare uno scatto (take a snapshot).


Attenzione! While a video camera is called una videocamera, a camera for taking still photos is called una macchina fotografica ("photographic machine").



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