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Etymology 1[edit]

photo- +‎ -phobia


photophobia (usually uncountable, plural photophobias)

  1. (medicine) Excessive sensitivity to light and the aversion to bright light; abnormal fear of light.

Etymology 2[edit]

photo (photograph) +‎ -phobia


photophobia (uncountable)

  1. An aversion to or fear of being photographed, the dissemination of personal photographs, or viewing photographs.
    • 1947, Ella K. Maillart, The Cruel Way: Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford, 1939, University of Chicago Press (2013), →ISBN, page 152:
      Photophobia was the latest affliction of Afghan officialdom—by contagion, probably, from Persia which tries to nip in the bud pictures that show her not yet entirely modern.
    • 1998, Barry Didcock, "How to score with Madonna (or U2 or Leonard DiCaprio)", The Scotsman, 2 April 1998:
      Craig Armstrong doesn't want to be photographed. His record company wouldn't like it, he says, and besides he has flu so he looks a little puffy. So "orders" and vanity combine to stop the shoot, due to take place in a trendy bar in Glasgow's West End.
      The cynic may see alternative reasons for the 39-year-old composer's photophobia, []
    • 2013, Douglas Crimp, "'Tell a Story, Save a Life' (Montage 1987-89)", in The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson (eds. Brenda Longfellow, Scott MacKenzie, & Thomas Waugh), McGill-Queen's University Press (2013), →ISBN, unnumbered page:
      He concludes that Mapplethorpe blocks racist photophobia by making the nudes whose penises are not visible highly erotic, while using blatantly penis-focused images to force white viewers to recognize that when they see a black man, they see him not just in possession of a large penis, but actually as a penis (Mercer 1991; Fanon 1952/2008).