Do you have a photoblog? Or a website where you publish photos? I hope you are writing about those pictures. Aren’t you? Because it not only helps your viewers enjoy the pictures more, it also makes your blog more reachable, because search engine can read that text and get you more visitors.
Now, the next step is how to write an interesting caption. I was writing some captions for a friend a few days ago and he liked them. Then he started writing captions on his own, but they were not as good. Finally I decided to write some guidelines for him, and thus started this article.
Also, before we start, what this article is not is how to write captions for those newspaper/magazine photos where you just have to mention who all are there in the picture. It’s when you want to be a little creative and are in the space where you have that freedom. There, let’s begin.
Write Interesting facts.
Check for any interesting facts related to the subject of your photos and write them. It goes for persons, places, things, flora and fauna, and pretty much anything that can be Googled. If your subject can’t be Googled though, it’s even more important to write those crucial facts. They become crucial when they can’t be Googled, right?
Write a story.
We all want stories. Always. But they must be interesting. If something beats interesting facts, it’s a story which has inetresting facts.
If you don’t have such a story, you could make up one. It shouldn’t be done in case of people, historical places etc. (basically those things which do have a story), but you can certainly use some imagination to write about a bee sitting on a flower. After all, if animals or trees or even rocks could speak, they would have their stories to tell right. You could tell those stories.
Whenever you are writing such stories, make sure you write something that is not there in the picture. It’s like your story begins with the photo and completes with your words. Still, if you leave the viewer a little intrigued, it’s okay.
Your Own Story might be interesting. Sometimes.
If how you took the picture has a more interesting story than the picture itself, you certainly can tell your story. But don’t make it a habit. It looks good only once in a while.
Spellings are important.
So is basic grammar. Make sure you write the correct spellings for everything. If you have doubt about your spellings, write the captions in a word document and run a spell check before pasting them on your website.
Do Not use the word Random.
Because that’s what most photos are. Random. But when you say it’s random, the picture loses some of its charm then and there. People like to see things that are specific, exclusive, found by sheer luck maybe, but not random.
Also, if you have written a lot of captions already, put them together in a place and see if there are any adjectives or phrases you are using repeatedly. Try and do away with them.
Consider writing technical details in the beginning.
Now it depends on you how open you are. In my opinion though, it’s good if you can mention the aperture, ISO and shutter speed with every photo. Nobody can really take the photo you have taken once, and nobody can tell your story. In fact, if you are a good photographer, a lot of people might WANT to copy your technicals and learn from them, which will eventually create more visits for you and make your site more popular.
So these were the things I believe are important while writing captions for photos. If you have anything to add, please write away in a comment. Happy Photoblogging.