what’s in a name

In Inspiration

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

hang on

shoot for the stars

sweeter words were never spoken

homeward bound

hanging by a thread

the birds

dancing girls

resting mannequin face





waiting room

well the sun is surely sinking down

slicker weather

just bee

solo flight

See you next time.



  1. Love the titles – I think they bring a photo to life and make us see what you see.

  2. Oh, I like that you do this regularly, Lucy! I think your titles – while sometimes tongue in cheek, as you said (and made me chuckle) – also sometimes add another, deeper layer to the viewing process.

    Also, in the titling, there’s a sense of the value you hold for your work…I very much like that aspect.

  3. Oh these are brilliant! I love how some of them made me chuckle and some made me smile.
    I don’t do titles on my photos, but I wonder if I should now…x

Submit a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.