PhotoGuide Japan PhotoJapanese Street talk
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Last updated: July 16, 2000

by Philbert Ono and Professor Naoomi Kuratani

What's this? This is a list of basic phrases for taking pictures on the street and in a group. Key words are color-coded. The phrases are divided into three sections: Photographing Someone, Asking Someone, Group Shots, and Miscellaneous. Also check out a list of basic Japanese vocabulary here.

Photographing Someone   人を撮る  
Excuse me, can I take your picture? Sumimasen, anata no shashin wo tottemo ii deska? すみません、あなたの写真を撮ってもいいですか? For obtaining permission to take a picture of a stranger.
Yes, OK. Hai, OK desu. はい、OK.
No. Dame desu.
Iya desu.
Here's fine (to take your picture). Koko de ii des. ここでいいです。
Please stand over there.

How about sitting here?

Soko ni tatte kudasai.

Soko ni suwatte kudasai.



Say this while pointing with your finger.
Smile! Waratte! 笑って!
Say cheese! Hai, cheese! はい、チーズ!
OK, pose for the camera! Hai, pozu! はい、ポーズッ!
Looking good! Ii ne!
Ii des ne!
You look cute!/That's cute! Kawaii ne! かわいいね!
You're beautiful. Bijin des ne. 美人ですね。
Don't make the peace sign. Peace o shinaide.
V-sign o shinaide.
Take off your sunglasses. Sunglass o totte kudasai. サングラスを取ってください。 Normal eyeglasses are called "megane."
Don't move. Ugokanai de. 動かないで。
Look at the camera. Camera o mite. カメラを見て。
Don't blink your eyes.

Keep your eyes open (when the picture is taken).

Me o tsuburanaide ne.

Me o akete oite ne.



Ready? Ii deska? いいですか?
Here we go! Hai, ikimas. はい、いきます。 Say this right before taking the picture.
I think you blinked your eyes. Me o tsubutta kana. 目をつぶったかな。
Oops, I blinked my eyes (when the picture was taken). Ah! me o tsubuchatta! あっ、目をつぶっちゃった。
Let's take one more shot. Hai, mo ichimai torimasho. はい、もう一枚撮りましょう。
If you take my picture, your camera will break (because I'm so ugly). Shashin tottara camera ga kowarechau! 写真撮ったらカメラが壊れちゃう! Girls usually say this in modesty.
Asking Someone   人に頼む  
Excuse me, can you take my (or our) picture (with my camera)? Sumimasen-ga, shutter o oshite kudasaimasenka? すみませんが、シャッターを押してくださいませんか? Hold out your camera when saying this.
Press the shutter button here. Koko o oshite kudasai. ここを押してください。 Point to the shutter button when saying this.
Sorry, I forgot to turn on the flash. Sumimasen, flash o wasuremashita. すみません、フラッシュを忘れました。
Oops! The flash didn't fire. Are! flash ga tsukimasen deshita. アレッ!フラッシュがつきませんでした。
Please take another shot. Mo ichimai onegai shimas. もう一枚お願いします。
There's no more film (in the camera). Film ga nakunari mashita. フィルムが無くなりました。
Thank you very much. Domo arigato gozaimashita. どうもありがとうございました。
Group Shots   集合写真  
Let's take a picture. Shashin toro.
Shashin torimasho.
Where should we/I take a picture? Doko de shashin torimashoka? どこで写真撮りましょうか?
Let's take a picture here. Koko de torimasho. ここで撮りましょう。
Let's take a picture with just the two of us. Issho ni two-shot toro. 一緒にツーショット撮ろう。 The word "two shot" usually refers to male-female couples.
Let's take a photo with all of us pictured. Mina de shashin torimasho.
Mina de shashin toro.
Let's take a group photo. Shugo shashin o torimasho. 集合写真を撮りましょう。
Can we all fit inside the picture? Mina, haitte maska? 皆、入ってますか?
Move more toward this way (while pointing left or right). Mo sukoshi kochira ni ugoite kudasai. もうすこしこちらに動いてください。 Said by the group photographer.
Move back a little more. Mo sukoshi ushiro ni sagatte kudasai. もうすこし後ろに下がってください。
Come toward the front. Motto mae ni kite kudasai. もっと前に来てください。 Said by the group photographer.
Stand in-between the two people in front of you. Mae no hito no aida ni tatte kudasai. 前の人の間に立ってください。
OK, everyone fits in the picture. Hai, mina-san haitte imasu. はい、皆さんが入っています。 Said by the group photographer.
Don't blink your eyes. Me o tsuburanaide ne. 目をつぶらないでね。
Here we go (click!). Hai, ikimas. はい、いきます。
Can I take a picture together with you? Issho ni shashin o tottemo ii deska? 一緒に写真を撮ってもいいですか。
Let's take a Print Club (photo stickers) photo. Purikura torimasho. プリクラ撮りましょう。 Photo stickers are also called, "shashin shiiru."
MIscellaneous   その他  
Don't take my photograph! Watashi no shashin o toranaide kudasai. 私の写真を撮らないでください!
Photography is prohibited. Shashin satsuei wa kinshi desu. 写真撮影は禁止です。 See sample Japanese sign.
I forgot my camera. Camera o wasuremashita. カメラを忘れました。
I lost my camera! Camera o ushinai mashita! カメラを失いました!
My camera got stolen! Camera o nusumare mashita! カメラを盗まれました!

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