The Dreaded Photo Title and Description
I should have better titles for my photos but I absolutely hate trying to come up with a catchy name for a photo. I often just name a photo whatever it looks like, for example “Shore Birds” for a photo that shows a bunch of birds on the shore. The description also follows the same form – just describing what it is that is in the photo.
This is not very good.
I would like to have better titles and descriptions because this could potentially excite prospective buyers into buying my photos. But, coming up with titles is difficult and I needed a way to do this.
Below: An Example of a Bland Description from My Instagram Account @larslentzphotography
I looked at what other photographers are doing for their titles and descriptions, and they fall into one of two different categories:
- Weak – Titles and descriptions are just like I’ve already described and are not very exciting at all.
- Over-the-Top – Crazy descriptions and fantasy-sounding titles that really don’t make me want to buy or even take the photographer seriously.
These are both bad, and clearly a better system is needed to describe and title photos.
Idea: Find Other Places Where Descriptions Rule, Copy Those
I thought about finding products where descriptions are absolutely necessary to sell the product. Surely these descriptions would be exciting, and something that I could mimic or copy. If they are from successful companies, then they must be working as well.
(Spoiler alert: I found some and you can use them too. Read on.)
The hard part about finding these was that I needed a product description that could be easily translated to a photo title and description. My photos are all about the outdoors, nature, and landscapes. Fortunately, and by accident, while holiday shopping I found that candle-makers were using very descriptive titles to sell their fragrances. Some perfume and cologne manufacturers were as well. It seems that describing a scent is very similar to describing a photo and I may be able to use these descriptions to name my photos!
Converting and Copying Titles
Just looking at two of the major candle-making companies, I was able to find plenty of titles that I could use to describe my photos. The two companies I looked at were
Some of the candle fragrance titles that stood out to me were
- Meadow Showers
- Fresh Sparkling Snow
- Magical Frosted Forest
- Moonlight Path
- Secret Wonderland
With a little mixing and matching of titles, I found that I could come up with additional titles that are original ones and could work for my photos:
- Enchanting Forest Pathway
- Sparkling Sunlit Leaves
- Deep Forest
- Moonlight Meadow
- Magical Snowfall
I also found that in doing this it gave me ideas for photos that I haven’t yet shot. For example, “Moonlight Meadow” from my list above is not a photo that I have taken yet, but it is a great title. This makes me want to take that photo just so I can title it “Moonlight Meadow.”
Here are screen captures of the Yankee Candle and Bath & Body Works fragrance listings:
I found that by looking at candle manufacturer titles, I could come up with some interesting and original titles for my photos. I also got some ideas for photos that I have not taken.
These two benefits make it worthwhile to look at other product titles in order to get ideas for titling photos. I will continue to look, not only at candle manufacturers, but at other products where I can leverage their titling to my advantage. You can use this method also and may find even more ways to generate exciting and descriptive photo titles!
Thank you for reading what I wrote — I hope you enjoyed it!