Friday, July 1, 2011

How to Write Captivating Captions

It's a late start for me today; we've figured out a way to block out the morning sun in our bedroom and it's making it harder and harder to get up early...might need to bring the sun back to get my butt moving!

My sister and her boyfriend just came to visit us and we had a blast. I wanted to post some pics from the trip and decided to incorporate a lesson (after all, that's what this blog is about, no?).

So, a quick how-to for creating captivating captions:

  • Captions should be short and sweet. Nobody wants to spend all day figuring out what part of the caption identifies what's going on in the picture.
The Phoenix Police Museum has some great police memorabilia—this old police car, for instance.
  • Captions should be written with the audience in mind. That means if your audience does not know the people or places in the picture (and you want them to), you'll need to identify them.
My sister and her boyfriend atop Camelback Mountain

  • Captions should note the specific details about why you included that particular picture. That way, readers can't miss your intent.
Who knew the joy that arcade tickets could evoke on the faces of men?
  • Captions should contain active words as often as possible; try to get readers feeling as if they were in the picture, too!
At the Arizona History Museum, we invested more time in
creating silly pictures than we did in learning AZ's history.
  • And finally, captions should be correctly punctuated. It is acceptable to use incomplete sentences as captions as well as to use complete sentences; incomplete sentences do not require a closing punctuation mark but complete sentences do.
So:

Montezuma's Castle is over 1,000 years old!
But:

A shot of Sedona, AZ's majestic red mountains

We had a ton of fun during my sister's visit and took many pictures deserving of captions. Now get out there and create great captions for your best pictures, too!

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