Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Turkey.

The ruins of the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Turkey, dates from 117 A.D.

Find Your Writing Niche: Captions, The Lifeblood of Pictures

A picture is worth a 1,000 words, but the purpose of the caption is to clarify the scene. I try to make the caption as short as possible, which can be a challenge.

Things to remember when writing captions:

1) Include names of people in the picture and spell them correctly. Mary Ann, Mary Anne, Merrianne,
Mariann. Smith, Smithe, Smyth, Smythe. You get the idea.
2) Don’t write the obvious. If someone is accepting a plaque, it’s not necessary to say “Sally Smith is
accepting a plaque.” Options are to state instead a unique phrase or comment Sally made when she
accepted “the award for most volunteer hours” or where Sally will display the plaque.

3) Include pertinent information: title of the people in the picture, purpose of the picture.

4) Give the date the picture was taken if it’s a flashback to a previous time, e.g., a picture from a
war, a couple’s anniversary.

5) An upcoming event should include time, date, contact information.

Write the caption so people are curious and want to learn more.

Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I’ve been a professional freelance writer for several years and specialize in writing feature stories. I have more than a 1,000 bylines to my credit and have written on countless topics from autism to zoology. My columns on fashion and the Internet appeared in a Chicago area newspaper in the 90s. “Brunswick Buzz,” the column in The Sun News, the Myrtle Beach, S.C. daily, ran for seven years then “Events on the North Strand” took over in October 2013, also in The Sun News.

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