This page is an entry in the Key.

More on “making” vs. “taking”

Some advocates of “take” say that “make” implies that the photograph was doctored after it was taken or that the result is “fabricated.” They argue that they don’t want their photos assumed to be doctored and that “take” better expresses the value of preserving what the camera recorded at the scene that was photographed during a unique moment in time.

Some advocates of “make” contend that they are not “taking” anything from the subject by photographing it, that “take” implies a casual “snapshot” approach, and that “make” better conveys the amount of artistry and effort involved in creating compelling photographs.

This website uses both terms.

One can defend both the value of preserving what the camera recorded at the scene AND defend the argument that a good deal of artistry, effort, and creativity is often involved in generating compelling photographs of any sort.

In keeping with common usage in English, when discussing the actual recording of photographs (“clicking the shutter”) the verb “take” is used often on this website — and sometimes even the highly colloquial “taking a picture” is used.

However, “make” is used a fair amount on this site as well, especially when discussing the overall process of photography, including post-exposure adjustments and presentation.

Either way, no offense is intended to proponents of either term.