We’ve all done it – we’ve taken that amazing photo, but when it comes time to share it with the world and our friends, we simply just don’t know how to decide on a photo title. Don’t panic! I have some tips to help you!
Picking Your Photo Title
If you want to a kickass photo title, there isn’t a right or a wrong way to do it. Title it any way you want! But sometimes we don’t know where to start, so here are some guidelines to get the juices flowin’.
1. The Gearhead Jargon Title
We’ve all seen it, and for good reason: this title is not only informative, but it makes you sound like a pro to the people who probably aren’t pros. That’s okay, we love gearheads. To do this title, just list the camera, lens, aperture, and maybe the shutter speed and ISO. If you want to troll a little, make up an impossible setup, post it to an online forum (for the right audience, e.g. a Nikon users forum), and sit back and enjoy the lulz.
Nikon D2Xs, Sigma 30mm f/1.8 – 1/40 at ISO 800
2. The Location Title
Probably the most minimalist and the least polarizing, this photo title has been done before and lends an artistic air to what you’re shooting. The photo above may not fit, so I will use another that works better with this title.
3. The Lyric Title
This is a great way to appeal to the younger crowd, ’cause they’re obsessed with music. Then again, it seems like everybody is these days. Pick something popular or classic, but not too obscure – that’s another kind of title entirely.
Break on Through to the Other Side
4. The Obscure Reference Title
Another favorite for people of all ages, but especially nerds and geeks, or buffs of certain types, this photo title should be out there. The more obscure the better. Movies, literature, and old songs are all fair game, as are inside jokes.
5. The Dualistic Title
This one goes both ways. The best way to come up with one of these is to think of something physical in the photo, and something aesthetic about the photo, and then join the two together. This is about as faux-artsy as you can get, but it works.
6. The Descriptive Title
Your basic, no-nonsense title that tells your viewer what they need to know – and nothing more. It has the possibility to make exciting photos more exciting, but it can also make boring photos more boring, so use with caution.
Shadows on the Door of a Parkville Home.
7. The Narrative Title
This is much-used by the 365 crowd who want to spice up their photos with something other than numbers. As a photo title, it easily lends itself to life-logging and journalistic tendencies, where people aren’t just taking photos, but actually telling a story. It’s also more of a description than a title, but don’t be afraid to rock it with confidence and switch things up a little.
Waiting for my girlfriend, I wandered the cold and the dark of Parkville. As I stopped to light a cigarette, the falling shadow of an ancient tree sprawled across the barren, minimalist facade of a lonely but well-kept home.
8. The Theme/Series Title
An excellent accompaniment to any project or series is a title that cohesively ties one photo to the rest. This can be an abstract title or a more worldly one (stressing location, for instance).
Loneliness – Light and Shadow or Parkville #10 – Door with Shadow
(theme – specific motif) or (series title – specific image)
Okay, so there you have it folks – some ideas to get you started on choosing the photo title that’s right for you. Have any ideas of your own? Share them with us! We love to talk photography!