You’ve spent large amounts of time developing your in-camera photo skills. Hours have been dedicated to refining your workflow. And you have mastered the effects, filters and digital dark room tools so that every picture comes out perfect. But your photographs are not complete until you place the cherry: The Title of your photo. Titling your photos is easily one of the most challenging tasks that you will come across. But it’s also one of the most important. You may want something that will stand out, something that briefly describes the photo, or something that is perhaps a little clever. Here’s a few titling options:
- What’s Inside - One simple approach is to name the shot based on what’s in the photo. “Man with Umbrella”, “Angel Falls” or “Shagbark Hickory”. Not incredibly creative, but this style is appealing especially to stock or nature photographers.
- Emotions – Emotive titles can be very effective. Describe what the subject is feeling, or describe what you feel when you observe the photo. For example, you might title a photograph of a clearly sad child “I’m Sorry”. Sometimes, you can use this tactic to give a clue as to what the photo is really about.
- Creative Approach – The photo shown here, a shot of my son a few years back, is titled ‘Frolic’. I feel that the title describes what my son is doing, but it’s also a bit of a juxtaposition of the setting. It is, after all, only a native grass garden in Baltimore Inner Harbor – only about 250 square feet. It’s hardly possible for anyone to frolic in such a small space.
- Clever – Clever titles are, in my opinion, creative titles that might have a subtle reference or an inside joke. But it needs to be something that some people will get. For example, Angelreich at DeviantArt photographed an awesome piece of driftwood. The shot, in and of itself, was impressive, but the title won me over: The Last March of Ents. Sometimes, a clever title completely makes a photograph that might otherwise be ignored.
One final thought: You’ve worked hard on your photograph. It deserves to be titled. I personally am not a fan of untitled or numbered photographs. That can ruin a photograph for me. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts as well.