Say cheese / cheese

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi.

When taking photos, what should I say if I am the one who takes the photos.

Cheese!
Say Cheese!


I've heard both. May I have your help?
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You are telling people to say "cheese". Telling them "Say cheese" is the way to do this.

    However, in the US, people know that 'cheese' is the word to say when being photographed. (Perhaps this is also true in other English speaking countries.) For that reason, a photographer can simply call out "Cheese" and everyone will know that it's time to say the word.

    (The idea is that when people say 'cheese', their lips form a smile, and people like smiles in photographs.)
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    For the record, we all know this from cartoons and possibly sitcoms, but I'm pretty sure I've never heard it in real life.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I don’t think “say cheese” is something a professional photographer would say!

    in my experience it’s usually for a small family crowd to indicate you’re about to “snap” the shot to attract their attention to the camera.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don’t think “say cheese” is something a professional photographer would say!
    No, I recall a professional photographer employed by the MOD who said "say 'electric sex'". It was a far more reliable way of getting a large group to smile than "say cheese".
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    No, I recall a professional photographer employed by the MOD who said "say 'electric sex'". It was a far more reliable way of getting a large group to smile than "say cheese".
    Yes, if you want a natural laughing face it’s better to say something fresh.

    I’ve heard a variation on say cheese:
    Say camembert (or gruyere or edam, etc, any cheese type will do )
    This play on the concept works to raise a smile from some people, but may run the risk of puzzled faces too.
     

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    I’ve heard a variation on say cheese:
    Say camembert (or gruyere or edam, etc, any cheese type will do )
    There was a very well-known brand of cheese here that used this scenario to advertise their product. What was ironic was that saying the name of the cheese made the people whose photo was being taken look surprised or puzzled. :D
     
    Last edited:

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think I've only ever heard "say cheese," not just "cheese."

    And like many others, I've heard it a lot.
     
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