One of our dedicated members Dennis Thomsen brought up the issue of describing our images in the Cutcaster marketplace to us and we felt that Dennis, as a former photo journalist and newspaper editor, would be an ideal person to share his experience as to why describing your images is so important for image buyers and those that want to sell their images.
Below is a little post he wrote about the best way to describe your
content and why it is so important. Enjoy and please add any
comments at the end. Thank you so much Dennis for passing on some
education to all of us.
Like many of our members, I like to check out the Cutcaster
collection to see what is being submitted, and to look for holes in
the collection. I've also been checking out the new and improved
search engine (more changes coming according to John). My
examination of the collection led to this guest blog. The goal is
to share with the Cutcaster community what this former
photo-journalist and newspaper editor views as a big concern if our
images (and Cutcaster) are going to get serious consideration from
Is a picture always worth a thousand words? Photographers and
artists would like to think this is the case, but it is not always
true. We are in the business of marketing our images, and buyers
are looking for images which fit their needs. Do they care about
descriptions (captions)? The answer from most buyers is YES!
Descriptive captions are part of the marketing information buyers
use in the decision making process.
When we go through the Cutcaster image submission process we are
required to title, keyword and price our images. It is optional
whether we describe (caption) images. In fact, we can leave this
field blank if we so choose. What I've observed is many image
descriptions are too short, lacking detail, or completely missing.
If our goal is to sell our images or increase our sales, this may
be a big mistake.
Many high end buyers we hope Cutcaster will attract in the upcoming
marketing and advertising campaign need what is referred to as the
"five W's and H" in the descriptions. This information, the who,
what, when, where, why, and how, of an image should not be ignored
when you go through the upload process. Few images can stand alone.
Those descriptions (captions) provide details buyers need in the
decision process. It may help your sales figures if you review your
photo descriptions with an eye toward checking and editing for
present tense, active verbs, and the five Ws. Captioning is not
always easy and it can be time consuming. It is a skill that
develops with practice, just like keywording!
If you want to learn more about this photo caption (description)
process, there is plenty of help available on the internet. You
might want to check out some of these sites for caption writing
"What Makes a Good Caption?" which is a good starting primer
Photo Caption Checklist site which provides more captioning
and the following site is also worth visiting - Writing Photo
Captions which summarizes the AP stylebook guidelines:
The above are a great starting point if you are new to captioning
or want to work on improving your image descriptions. Books have
been written on this subject. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Hope you find something useful here and your comments are
Check out images belonging to Dennis here: