Byrd photographer: Dinendra Haria
February 2019

Feature in focus: Headline and description

A good photo caption should give viewers the information they otherwise would not get from simply looking at the photo. In today’s blog post we outline how to really nail that using a headline and a description as your tools.

Provide additional information
When writing photo captions there is no need to state the obvious, instead aim for explaining what the photo or video is about. Some headline examples could be: “Hundreds of people demonstrating against XX in Stockholm” or “Train delays between Copenhagen and Malmö due to major strikes in Sweden”. The following description should contain more elaborated information. For example, “The strike has caused several trains going from Copenhagen to Malmö or Malmö to Copenhagen either to be canceled or delayed. Travelers are getting more updates as they become available”.

Tone of voice
Use conversational language for both headline and description. That means not too formal but still informative. Always write in present tense - this emphasizes the sense of immediacy. The tone of voice should be matched with what is portrayed in the photo. So if it is a photo of a fire or accident, avoid being funny.

Be objective
Stay away from making assumptions about what is happening in the photo. For example, don’t write “disappointed football supporter” or “tired festival visitor” instead let the viewer decide the emotions in the photo.

Applying this to Byrd
When uploading to Byrd you have one headline and one description box to enrichen your photos or videos. Use them to your advantage!

To sum it up
Photo captions should be used as a mean to inform viewers of information they normally would not get by looking at the photo. Therefore, be objective, get straight to the point and use present tense and you’re good to go!