If I were to ask a native of Japan to take a picture of myself or me and the group with whom I am, is it acceptable to ask

"Shashin onegaishimasu / しゃしん おねがいします" as a shortcut instead of the things suggested here?


7.5 years later I'm finally going.

Can it ever be harmful to bring my 2nd passport?

  • 1
    Tell us what they think when you use 私ども
    – Leebo
    Jan 4, 2023 at 7:51
  • @Leebo i forgot that conversation already. what is 私ども ? ' thank me ' ? lolwut
    – BCLC
    Jan 10, 2023 at 1:28
  • 私ども is an way to refer to a group of people with you, but it would sound bizarre using it casually on the street. A normal way to say it would be 私たち.
    – Leebo
    Jan 10, 2023 at 4:23
  • Not sure if it's worth editing the accepted answer though.
    – Leebo
    Jan 10, 2023 at 4:30

3 Answers 3


"しゃしん おねがいします" will do.

But I would say "私{わたし}共{ども}の写{しゃ}真{しん}を撮{と}って戴{いただ}けますか?" if I don't know that native in person.

Courtesy costs you nothing.

* Added *

Of course it will do no harm to add すみません as suggested by BCLC and HiruneDiver: literally すみません means "I'm/we're sorry", but it is quite often used to mean "excuse me/us".

And The Wandering Coder's selection is acceptable, too.

  • 1
    More commonly and slightly less politely ranked would be 私達{わたしたち}の写真{しゃしん}を取{と}ってもらってもよろしいですか/でしょうか? Jul 6, 2015 at 14:14
  • 1
    'Courtesy costs you nothing.' --> Too many syllables for my Japanese speaking comfort, IMHO. I'll add 'sumimasen' before hand though, I guess. Thanks.
    – BCLC
    Jul 6, 2015 at 14:52
  • 5
    「すみません、[写真]{しゃしん}[撮]{と}っていただけませんか?」 is also common and polite. Whether you have company or not, you can use this sentence. Jul 6, 2015 at 19:08
  • 1
    Why does this answer have downvotes?
    – BCLC
    Jul 9, 2015 at 17:21
  • 4
    @BCLC I think some users think it would be odd for you to say 私ども.
    – user1478
    Jul 9, 2015 at 19:15


would probably be understood as "Please take my/our picture", but it can also be understood as "May I take a photo of you?". To avoid confusion, you could say:


You can also say:


You'd sound politer if you said:

すみません、[写真]{しゃしん}[撮]{と}っていただけませんか。(as @HiruneDiver suggested)

  • 1
    Finally, a list of realistic and natural-sounding phrases!
    – user4032
    Jul 9, 2015 at 12:47
  • Thanks. Is shutter a metonymy? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutter_(photography)
    – BCLC
    Jul 9, 2015 at 17:30
  • Oh I'll probably include a gesture to me and my group. Don't wanna use too many syllables.
    – BCLC
    Jul 9, 2015 at 19:32
  • @BCLC シャッター means "shutter button" --> this. シャッター押してください means "Please press the shutter button", and シャッターお願いします literally means "Shutter button, please."
    – chocolate
    Jul 10, 2015 at 13:03

If you're concerned about syllables & don't mind being super casual I'd go with 写真とっていいのか? while handing the person your camera & put グループ in front of it for the group one of course.

  • 2
    This sounds more like "It's okay to take a picture?!" to me... Jul 10, 2015 at 16:55
  • 3
    写真とっていいのか and handing someone a camera sounds confusing, because you're saying "Can I take a photo?" but then you're handing someone your camera... I think しゃしんおねがいします is better than what you suggested. (Also, I don't understand how the "super casual" 写真とっていいか could ever be preferable over 写真とっていいですか when approaching a stranger.)
    – Earthliŋ
    Jul 10, 2015 at 16:55

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