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The Essential Elements of a Caption

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Presentation on theme: "The Essential Elements of a Caption"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Essential Elements of a Caption
Writing Captions The Essential Elements of a Caption

2 What is a caption? Defines who is in the photo and what is going on that we are unable to determine from the photo itself

3 What is a lead-in? The first few words of a caption that may be bolded or highlighted, depending on a newspaper’s style Class of 2008 Runners-- (L to R): Grace Hoffman, Lacey Gruener, Emily McDaniel, Andy Taylor, Tiffany Krause, and Clara Modig.

4 Where do you start? Examine a picture for details.
People, places and things Write questions readers need answered about the picture. Make sure it is appropriate for your publication. Identify what elements of the photo that need explaining, use action verbs

5 Writing Captions Avoid stating the obvious. ("Looking into the camera...") Identify all people in the picture who are seen clearly, be sure to follow a pattern in doing the IDs, and tell your reader the pattern ("left to right", etc.) Don't start a caption with a person's name or the name of the school.

6 Writing Captions Try not to start every caption in the same way. Be creative! Use a prepositional phrase ("During the state soccer tournament") and -ing words ("Kicking in for the last few yards"), or other techniques. Don't overuse any one technique! For stand-alone feature photos, compose a headline to go with the caption. Give the reader a lot of information in the caption. Use two or three sentences, if possible.

7 Writing Captions Using quotes in a caption adds a personal voice.
Be sure photographers are trained to get IDs and additional information as they take the pictures. Caption writing is so much easier this way! Always include a photo credit. ("Photo by...")

8 Tips for Writing Captions
The best caption does not tell the story, but gives the reader a reason to read the story. Captions need to be complete and concise.


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