Do you title your photographs?
Ever since I started taking photographs in earnest, I’ve given most of my photographs titles. Usually a title will come to mind while I’m clicking the shutter, but if not, it will come soon after, as I look at my shot and decide if it’s worthy of sharing. Every once in a while a photograph that I love just won’t reveal its title to me, and I’ve come to accept that and move on.
Famous photographers tend to keep it simple. If they’ve taken a photograph of a place, they call it by the name of the place, sometimes adding a detail or date. Ansel Adams used this technique — “Yosemite Valley, Thunderstorm,” or “Golden Gate Before the Bridge.” Or in the case of a portrait, it will simply be the person’s name. Sally Mann titled photographs of her family this way — “Jesse at 8,” or “Larry, 1977.” And then there is always the “Untitled” option.
I find my titles fall into a few categories. Sometimes they’re familiar phrases, snippets of song lyrics, a line from a poem. Occasionally they are literal, other times whimsical, often a little tongue in cheek. I love that when I post my titled images on Instagram and facebook, friends and followers will offer up alternate titles, or improve on the ones I came up with.
Here, then, are some of my titled photos. Do the titles work? Do they add to or detract from the viewing experience? What would you have called them?
near and far
one of these things is not like the other
what lies beneath
shoot for the stars
sweeter words were never spoken
hanging by a thread
resting mannequin face
See you next time.