We do it all the time, post an amazing picture on our social media and then… we contemplate, for some of us it can feel like hours. Sometimes the process can be so overwhelming we might give up posting our photo all together, because we just don’t know what in the world to write.
There are many ways to go about finding the perfect caption. Some describe a recent event, maybe what they were doing when they took the picture. Others find quotes or lyrics to be more fitting for their latest picture, while others just apply an emoji or leave the caption blank all together!
So, how do we simplify this process? What is a fool-proof way to caption a photograph? I guess the simple truth is there isn’t one.
Here is one idea that I haven’t seen many people catch onto quite yet. That is the art communities perspective on naming a work of art. Many times artists find a way to look at their art from a very new point of view, something outside of the box. A title that will force the viewer to create their own perspective on what the art means to them.
Allowing the viewer to come to their own opinion is engaging and creates an environment of active participation for the audience. Leaving the work of art as an open ended question in turn creates a new world of answers. With social media being a place of audience engagement.. this form of photo caption may trigger some interesting comments from your viewers.
Also, the caption should emphasis the focal point of the photograph. Let’s say the photo is of you, and the sun is shining bright in the photo you may want to mention something of the sun. Quotes are cool, but what is even better is an original idea. Try “The Sun On My Shoulders” This type of title keeps things interesting, and lets the viewer do a double take of your photograph. Creating an atmosphere of art appreciation and intrigue in the detail of what you just posted.
Another good way to develop your caption is to ask someone you trust what they see when they look at the photo, what is the first thing they think of or notice? Let’s say their answer is: “The Beautiful Sandy Beach” you could go with that alone or change it up a little; “Sand~Beach – Beautiful” Get creative and have some fun!
If the photograph exhibits something beyond descriptive, or focal words caption through an emotional context. Your photo may be black and white, with two people hugging, a great way to capture the emotion would be “A True Bond” and even better take a common word like ‘true’ and search for a less common word like ‘faithful’ or ‘sincere’ or another word for ‘bond’ like ‘promise’ or ‘pledge.’
This opens up a world of captions, doesn’t it?
Although, this is just a photo for social media, this is also probably something meaningful to you that could use a bit more attention from your viewers, right? So, putting in the extra effort is worth it and can make your feed come to life.
(I should mention; only put in as much effort as you actually want the viewers to pay attention. Do not over sell your picture if it just doesn’t warrant that kind of regard. Match your caption with how you feel about your photo, always.)