March 25, 2021, 8:20 am
Handy tips to generate captioning ideas (7 techniques). However, I also wonder about the risk of manipulating findings if we create the captions first then try to find a suitable photo. It is ok for me if these captions are based on initial learning from existing participants’ captured pictures. Can you suggest how long each discussion of captioning for every selected picture should be?
March 26, 2021, 1:39 pm
Hi Quan, we very rarely use this technique and it is only useful if participants know what they want to say but not necessarily what they want to photograph. This could be a prompt rather than the whole project being run like this. It would definitely not be a good idea to do that.
March 25, 2021, 11:18 am
I do feel captions are very important, especially when creating a narrative as shown in the Daily Mail examples because people easily believe what they read. Captions can also in-force stereotypes and be negative but similarly do the opposite and change the perspective in a positive way. So they do have a big impact I think.
When it comes to my photography I have always found it difficult to write a caption and to articulate what to say but I think this may be because I am dyslexic and not as good with my words. So I am a bit worried if I was to help participants with their captions, that I would not be too helpful. But I’m sure I would be more confident when I was actually doing a workshop.
March 25, 2021, 10:29 pm
While I write frequently, I find that caption writing is so different. I remember the first time I wrote captions, it was for a National Geographic exhibit on ANWR. It was really frustrating, as I did not take the photos, could not consult with the photographers, and my boss wanted a very specific writing style that is not one I generally prefer. Definitely a significant challenge, but also an amazing learning opportunity (both positive and negative). It really made me think about who a story really belongs to at the end of the day.
March 26, 2021, 1:44 pm
Hi Kate, really useful learning, it would be good to hear a little bit more about it when we are together as a group because it really refers to the issue of having to contextualise other people’s photos when they are not in the room.
March 26, 2021, 1:43 pm
A lot of people, if not most, struggle with caption writing, that is why the sharing sessions are really important and note taking during them is key so that you can help each participant put into writing what they have already said. I have also worked on projects where I have collaborated with a writer to help on that front, however, that will be only necessary if you are keen to capture longer narratives. I totally relate to the dyslexia thing and writing is not my go to but I don’ find captions so challenging as they can be fragmented once you experiment with them, also writing your own is a lot harder than working with other people. When you assist participants to do that you will know already what they have said so you can just help them formulate that in a concise way. Thanks, Kallina
March 26, 2021, 4:38 am
Really useful tools – however I agree with Quan and am also a bit worried about the idea of creating the captions before you take the photo, and whether this will manipulate the outcome.
March 26, 2021, 1:45 pm
Hi Sofie, I mentioned to Quan that tip should only be used as a one off prompt, definitely not a good idea to run the whole project by writing the captions first.
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