SEARCHING FOR A PHOTO TITLE

 

HOW DO I TITLE MY PHOTO ART?

Most photographer or artist would love to title their work meaningfully, if possible, it be unique, having a character the creator is proud of, which is why, a simple task of choosing a title can be quite a hair pulling experience for many, I'm one of you.
Like many, I like my photo titles to be abstract, associate with the meaning of the photo and at the same time having connotation that evokes emotions... wow that's a lot to ask of, but trust me, the satisfaction is immeasurable.
To begin with choosing a title for my photo work, I start with the steps below.

 


1. Any great title that comes to mind

Whenever possible, I will try to think of a title off the top of my head from how I feel about the image, once in a while, a great title springs up spontaneously to mind, but light bulb moments like these are few and far between.

YELLOW

YELLOW

An abstract title for this image leaves much room for viewers to interpret. These titles works well with conceptual or abstract images.

 

EAVESDROP

This title for the image was considered at first, the tree was like eavesdropping, arch lower and lower over the couple. ‘Yellow’ was adopted and Eavesdrop keep for other photo arts.

 

2. Idioms, Song titles and Book titles

These are great resource for titles. If there is a bird in the picture, I'll Google for idioms or songs that contain words with 'Bird' or 'Fly' or 'Wings', looking out for anything that can connect, to be unique, replace a word in it to make it yours.

Flight of Imagination

Flight of Imagination

Title derive from Idioms.

 
Get the hang of it

Get the hang of

August 3, 2014. Took this picture of a beautiful girl playing the instrument call Spacedrum / Hang in Orchard road Singapore, a search in Idiom with the word “Hang” yields a meaningful title above.

P.S. I manage to get in touch with the artist and am pleased to share her Facebook link here. Yuki Koshimoto

 

3. Title Templates

I post my photo works weekly, and choosing a title no longer is a walk in the park, it's time consuming to say the least, but rewarding when I snag one.
Fortunately overtime, I had came up with a method of generating title with less hassle.

I maintain a list of more than a hundred titles, I call them Title Templates, they are of one to three words title, some slightly longer, scoured from everywhere, from the Internet Title Generators, Signs on the streets, Advertisement, Newspaper, etc.. Any meaningful punchlines or words catches my attention, will be considered for the template.

 

 
_P8A4627-800fm.jpg
 

WAY OF ILLUSION

This photo has a Path and a Bridge being predominant subjects, the template title is "Dream of Illusion", I change it to "Way of Illusion" as I want viewer to be lead by the path into the mist.

 

4. Noun + Noun

Putting two totally unrelated objects together to yield other-worldly and abstract  names. the word YouTube may well be constructed this way, see examples,

  • Glass Paper

  • Rock Ball

  • Snow Switch

  • Grapes Melody

 

5. Oxymoron

Oxymoron or Contradictory Phrase are the dancing words that could just save the day when you are so hard pressed for a meaningful title, here are the interesting examples,

  • Alone Together

  • Open Secret

  • Act naturally

  • Living dead

  • Original copy

 

6. Go Literal

Give a literal title from what the picture is showing, like "A girl holding a flower", "Big Blue house" or "Sunset at Marina" and the rest, Literal titles goes a long way as they are easy to remember and relevant to to the picture.

THE GIRL ON A BICYCLE Taken on Dec 22, 2015 - Singapore Botanic Gardens

THE GIRL ON A BICYCLE
Taken on Dec 22, 2015 - Singapore Botanic Gardens

Three sculptures created by British sculptor Mr. Sydney Harpley can be found in the Singapore Botanic Garden. I found the above, titled literally as “The Girl on a Bicycle”,

Sculpture donated by Mr. David Marshall (Singaporean politician and lawyer) to the Singapore Botanic Gardens in 1987.

 

Coming this far, here are the summaries for above steps,

1. Any great title that comes to mind

2. Idioms, Song titles and Book titles

3. Title Templates

4. Noun + Noun

5. Oxymoron

6. Go Literal

 

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SEARCHING FOR A PHOTO TITLE