- Writing Captions
- Adding captions in Lightroom or Bridge
Captions are critical.
Writing captions for your photos is not only important it's expected of you. Captions tell the story behind the photograph and help your reader/viewer to understand more about the moment you've captured, from who's in the photo to what's happening in the photo.
Captions are not the whole story just a concise glimpse of it. Some of your photos will be accompanied by a story and you'll merely be sharing information about the five Ws in your caption. Others - such as for stand alone feature photos or photos you're sending on a wire - require the caption in a concise form.
Obtaining the information for your caption starts when you take the photograph! Learn these rules and you'll remember to get all the information you need.
Write clear captions. In Photojournalism: A Professional's Approach (pp 178-9) the importance of caption writing is shared. In short:
The Five Ws...and one H for good measure.
Get this information when you get the photo and you'll be on your way to writing a clear caption. And remember! When you get the Who be sure to get contact information including phone number and email.
Here are a couple of additional guidelines to keep you in good graces with your editor and viewers!
Just (Don't) Do It.
- Don't ever begin your caption with: "This photograph shows..." or "In this photograph..." It insults your viewers' intelligence.
- Don't write about things that are NOT in the photograph. Along those lines, don't ever write "Not pictured are...". If someone or something is NOT in the photo do not write about it!
Example captions for a group of photographs.
Summit County Rescue Group Avalanche Training
Adding captions in Adobe Lightroom is easy!
- Scroll down through the right tabs to Metadata.
- Add a Title (optional).
- Type in your caption.
- Use "Sync" button to automatically add the same caption to multiple photos. Select the photos you want to apply the same caption/metadata to. Click Sync. You can update individual captions as needed.
When you export the images the caption information will become a part of the image's metadata.
The white bar in the center of example image shows what it looks like when you click "Sync". You can see where the information shows up.
In Adobe Bridge you'll add your caption information in the "Metadata" tab.
- Click the arrow for IPTC Core
- In "Description" textbox type your caption.
- You'll have to do this one photo at a time.
You won't be able to Sync the data as you can in Lightroom. This is a real drawback to using Bridge as your only editing workflow and a great reason for stepping up to Lightroom!
If you're wondering what IPTC and all these acronyms mean visit: iptc.org/standards/photo-metadata/iptc-standard/