Photo Captions Writing Tips

Published 8 years ago

Photo captions are the most undeveloped part of newspaper storytelling and the majority of writers don’t even pay an attention to it. A poorly written capture can harm or even destroy your message in the photo and make it apart from the whole article. Your readers expect complete, informative and accurate information, and photo captions are not excluded. The task won’t be easy for a professional journalist or essay writer since it requires a deep understanding of the topic and ability to catch an attention of the reader with words. So we have decided to give you a list of suggestions how to create eye-catching informative captions and then provide you with practical exercise to improve your skills:

Tips for captions writing:

Always check the facts

Avoid obvious standing “Mister Johnson is smiling because he won a million”

Always tag people from the photo

Don’t cut information, try to summarize it

Never make judgments in your captions, since you are not sure what person or people feel like at the moment of shooting. You need, to tell the truth.

Don’t assume. Try to find information about what is happening, if needed ask reporter, photographer or another person

Avoid using phrases like “is pictured, is shown, looks on”

If the photo is historic or from a file, include the date when it was taken and who is in the photo.

When it is possible to use the present tense in your captures. This creates a sense of impact and immediacy.

Don’t try to joke about not funny pictures

Descriptions can help viewer: you can tell if the person is dressed in black, or holding something will help your reader to identify the factors.

Try to create long captions, if it is possible. The more information you will provide the more chances that reader or viewer will understand the situation and story.

You can direct your readers to the picture using commas in captions

Use quotes, they are also effective and drive an attention to the picture

Use conversational language, it works the best. Never use clichés. Try to write caption as if you are telling your family story.

Now, you know the main captions writing tips and ready to practice your writing to be ready anytime when you will face such a task. It is like an essay writer training – you need to practice every day or will fail. So in order to practice, choose a picture you like and try to explore it and create a caption.

Exercise on writing:

1. Choose an image which seems interesting for you. Don’t read the article or description or you may ask your friend to choose it for you. You can practice in a group if needed.

2. Spend up to 15 minutes to free write about the photo

3. Choose some aspect of your previous free writing exercise as a start of the short story. The story doesn’t need to explain a picture as long as it inspires you.

4. Listen to your feeling while you are looking at the photo, it is a basis of your writing.

5. Once you have finished the storytelling think about the caption which will incorporate with the image.

Then search an image you have got and see if you guessed what the photographer wanted to tell you.

Tricks for creative writing:

1. Don’t worry about the actual story behind the photo. The main point of the exercise is writing.

2. As we have told you before you can practice it in different ways, asking your friend to give you an image or you can check your spam folders and take an image from there.

3. Don’t use images you have used in the past for writing captions or articles, it won’t be a creative work since you will try to memorize what it all was about.

For an exercise you need:


Sheet of Paper


As you see it is not very easy to start writing photo captions right away. The exercise above should help you to increase the writing quality. As recommended by My Essay Writer team you need to practice writing each day to achieve your goal and start to create eye-catching image captions.

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A passionate writer and digital marketer

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