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Every Picture Tells a Story Part 1: How To Write Great Photo Captions


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Is every picture worth 1000 words? Not if you don't write those memories down. Learn how to write great photo captions in Part 1 of Every Picture Tells a Story.

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Every Picture Tells a Story Part 1: How To Write Great Photo Captions

  1. 1. Writing Great Photo Captions The Power of Stories Academy
  2. 2. • Imagine these are your great- grandmothers, who you never met. • There’s no other information available about them. • What do you know from this photo? Wouldn’t it be better to have more information?
  3. 3. • Think about a photo album you have • Imagine paging through it with a grandchild • You bring the photos to life with your stories • You don’t have to be “a writer” Copyright 2012 – Art Gallery of Ontario
  4. 4.  Who – first and last names  When – as specifically as possible  Where – also, try for specificity
  5. 5.  Character – names and relationships  Setting – date and place  Occasion – what was the reason for the photo The Armstrong girls and Shaw cousins (Aunt Jan and Uncle Bobby’s sons) Visit to Grandma Hirchert’s for her 70th birthday. Chadron, Nebraska, 1975 Back row: Ken Shaw, Karen Armstrong, Doris Hirchert , Pat Shaw Front row: Kristi Armstrong, Rob Shaw, Kathie Armstrong
  6. 6.  Access memories  “Brain dump”  Create list  Short simple phrases  Free flowing/uncensored  Remember what you thought you forgot  Essential to creation of Photo Stories
  7. 7.  Three techniques 1. Look with fresh eyes 2. The slow reveal 3. Eyes wide shut
  8. 8.  Imagine you are a stranger  Seeing photo for first time  What would YOU want to know?  Take note of:  Body language and facial expression  Why people came together  What was happening before/after photo  Look at background of photo  Notice dress, shoes, pets, yard, cars, neighborhoods  Who is missing and why?  What emotions does photo inspire?  What memories does it conjure?
  9. 9.  Cover photo with a piece of paper  Slide paper slowly top to bottom or left to right  Notice anything you missed?  Remember anything else NOT in photo?
  10. 10.  Some memories cannot be photographed  Close your eyes/turn photos over  Just remember – events, time, people, place  Jot down words/phrases
  11. 11.  More memories = Great Caption  Something beyond just the facts  Adds context  Enhances photo with info not directly pictured
  12. 12.  Reread your caption  Watch for these pitfalls:  Meaningless prose  “Sunset was beautiful” vs. “Sunset made me feel alive”  Trite predictable phrases/clichés  “Say Cheese” or “World’s Best Grandma”  Repeated information  “Kids at Disneyland” for picture in front of sign  Jokes  May get stale, not very personal
  13. 13. Copyright 2015 by Beyond the Trees, LLC Writing Photo Stories If you’d like to take your photo storytelling to the next level, try:
  14. 14. For more helpful information on how to save and share your memories, visit: