Difference Between Photo and Picture


Main Difference

The main difference between Photo and Picture is that Photo is captured by a camera, whereas a Picture is a form of representation of a person.

Photo vs. Picture

A camera captures the photo. A picture is a form of representation of a person. The Photo is a type of Picture. A picture could be a painting, drawing or hand sketch of a person, of an object or a landscape. Visual representation of a paper is known as a photo. Visual representation of anything on a screen or flat surface is also known as a picture. A photo visual image is just like a simple picture. A picture covers all types of visual images.


It takes only a few seconds to click a photo. To take pictures of someone or something needs dedication, and it isn’t an easy task to do—the Photo made by capturing the light from medium to electronic sensor. A picture can be generating by hands or by computer generator system. It also said that all photos are pictures. However, all pictures are not photos.

Word photo is first recorded in 1893 by Sir John Herschel, by joining the two simple words, i.e., Photo and graph and then later on photo word appeared in the English language. Word picture first coined in 1375-1425 in late Middle English. The Photo can be anything created by a photocopier, scanners, etc. A picture refers to talent and artwork. Creating a photo is easy, and anyone can do this. Capturing a picture is a skill demanding art. Photo embedded on CCDs or CMOS chip etc. A picture can create a simple piece of paper.


Comparison Chart

Taken by a cameraPainting, drawing, etc
Came into 19th centuryCame into use in the 15th century
Word Derived From
Short form of a photographLatin word ‘pictura’
Verb Meaning
The informal verb means to take a pictureRepresent in a picture
Drawing Form
Drawing with lightDrawing with paints and colors

What is Photo?

Word photo comes from the Greek words “phos” means “light” and “Graphe,” meaning “drawing or writing. A photo created when the photographic film (the light-sensitive surface) captures the light and creates an image by the lens of the camera into a new visual representation. Whatever an object is a person, a scene pr a thing it can be photographed. Word photo and photograph come from Middle English, which derived from the word “picture,” and word picture derived from the basic principle of “pingere” means “to take pictures.” This world-first coined in the 1800s.

There is no need for special talent To take a photo although it is captured by just using hands in just a few minutes and later on printed on any paper. The lens of the camera captures the image; the lens of the camera captures the sensitive visible wavelengths of light. This light then embedded on a photographic film or electronic image sensors like CCD or CMOS chips etc. and changes into a product that the human eye can easily see.

In 1822 first photograph engrave by using the bitumen heliography technique that is invented by “Nicephore Niepce.” Another photo of the real-world scene captured by using the camera obscura. This practice isn’t sensitive enough. For better quality, later on-camera exposure is used. In 1829, Niepce collaborated with Louis Daguerre to work out for more sensitive and improved processes. New methods of developing photos are available in 1861 and become easily available until the 1940s and 1950s; however, until the 1960s, pictures are black & white.

What is Picture?

The term photo originally derived from a Latin word that is “Picture” means a painting or art of the painting. So that’s why word picture is related to painting. A picture could also be a simple photograph or a simple drawing. The Picture is elaborating the visual depiction of a scene. In a photographic sense, the Picture will be a person or a landscape where different groups of color paints are like an object on a flat material like paper. A picture is a pleasant gadget for most of the people and just simply a picture to some people.

A picture also said as graphic art. A picture makes a clear image of what we need to represent. The Picture is a generic name and covers all the representation subjects like scenery, images, people, food, and many other images that are made by paints, pencils, pens, printing press, and other digital, mechanical, or chemical technology. A picture also related to make images of anything or anyone with the help of memory, recollection, and art according to the mentality and concept.

Recreating pictures by the artist is also a mind-numbing, long-delayed, or time-managing process. Making pictures mainly by drawing and painting is an effort demanding task and need commitment, time, and talent from the artist. In the past, there is no other way to create pictures expect art, talent, and extraordinary hard work. But now, it is easy to create a picture by using your skills and technique of photography.

Key Differences

  1. A photo created with a camera by using hands, whereas the picture is generally drawn or made by hand.
  2. Word photo is a restricted term to use; on the other hand, word picture is less restricted term to use and also has multiple meanings.
  3. Photos are making process come into being early in the 60s; conversely, picture-making process an older process.
  4. The Photo is only a photograph; on the flip side, the picture is the proper presentation of something.
  5. A photo can be just an image, while the picture could be a cinematic film, portrait, etc.
  6. Photo is always a photo, although the picture could also be a photo.
  7. As compared to the photo Creating a picture is much effort demanding art.
  8. Photo is a professional short term. However, the picture is a general term.
  9. Word photo is used for the camera image on the converse word picture used for any painting.
  10. Photo making is an easy process; contrarily, picture making is a difficult process.
  11. Every person can capture a photo; in contrast, capturing a picture and create your memories on a piece of paper is only done by a skilled man.


Photo and Picture are two words that sometimes used interchangeably. But the close study tells that both the words are having different meanings. The Photo is anything taken by the digital camera, and Picture is any artwork.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson