An analysis of the available photometric observations for type II supernovae is presented. The possibility of drawing average curves by the fitting method, as previously done for type I supernovae, is indicated. Two basic shapes have been put into evidence, the first one (2/3 of the objects) is characterized by the presence of a plateau at intermediate phase, the second one by an almost linear decline. Average curves have been also built for the intrinsic color indices. Peculiar cases are discussed, including the unusual objects of types III-IV. The mean absolute magnitude at maximum for type II supernovae has been determined about Msub(B) = -16.45 (sigma=0.78), as a calibration for their use as distance indicators. The distribution in different morphological types and luminosity classes of the parent galaxies is briefly discussed.