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Photography and Illustration

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"Photograph - I don't want your
Photograph - I don't need your
Photograph - all I've got is a photograph
But it's not enough"

Since humans first discovered they could smear things on walls to represent things, we have had visual images. From cave paintings, to Renaissance paintings, to pencil drawings, to photography in 1827 with the very first photograph, to pixel art, these are the oldest two forms of visual works.

These tropes apply to anything related to creating still images, whether it be family photos, magazines, comics, etc.

Compare Camera Tricks, since photography lead to motion pictures.



  • Photo Memento: Group of (heroic) characters celebrate the end/importance of an event by posing together for a photograph as a piece of history.
  • Photo Montage: a series of photographs featuring the main characters.
  • Photo Op with the Dog: A character makes a big show out of doing something nice, in order to better their image.
  • Photoshop Filter of Evil: Digitally editing a photograph of a person to make them look untrustworthy and vile.
  • Photos Lie: A photo doesn't show what happened before or after it was taken, leading to some lies.
  • Picture Day: Students attempt to look nice the whole school day so they will look nice for their school photo.
  • Pixellation: An image is censored using pixels.
  • Plot-Based Photograph Obfuscation: Part of a photo is obscured for plot related reasons.
  • Political Cartoons: Print cartoons and comics, often associated with newspaper editorials, which satirically comment on current events.
  • Portal Picture: A picture or painting can transport people to another world or dimension.
  • Portrait Painting Peephole: A character spies on others by looking through a peephole hidden in the eye(s) of a portrait.
  • Precious Photo: A person carries a photo of a loved one who isn't with them.
  • Removed from the Picture: After a nasty break up, a character cuts their former lover's image out of pictures of them together.
  • Ridiculously Photogenic: A character with an uncanny aptitude to look great in photos.
  • Secret Society Group Picture: The members of a (not so) secret society all posed for a group photo that provides damning evidence of their existence.
  • Selfie Fiend: A person completely obsessed with selfies.
  • Side-Story Bonus Art: Artists draw scenes of the characters doing things that aren't actually in the work.
  • Sleazy Photoshoot: A model is forced or manipulated into doing suspect things in a photoshoot, like taking risque shots or performing sexual acts.
  • Spooky Painting: A painted image that seems normal at first. It probably isn't.
  • Spooky Photographs: A photograph that contains haunting or foreboding images.
  • Symbolic Serene Submersion: A dead body is shown floating beneath the water, in a symbolic kind of way.
  • Unexpected Art Upgrade Moment: When art media upgrades or enlarges its detail to signify a special moment.
  • Unflattering ID Photo: A character's ID card has an unflattering picture of them.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: An obviously doctored photo isn't considered as being fake.

Alternative Title(s): Photography Tropes