How many times have you sat in the dentist’s waiting room, opened a magazine, read the first paragraph of an article and flicked over to the next page? Now think about the times that first paragraph grabbed your attention and you carried on reading. When writing articles grab your readers attention. Here’s how.
Writing a caption is simple. All you need are the six Ws who, what, where, when, why and how (OK so the w in how is at the end).
Tourists can visit the Qolşärif mosque in the Kremlin of the Russian Federation city of Kazan opened in 2005. It is built on the site of a previous mosque that was established in the 16th century and destroyed when Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan in 1552
The caption under the photograph of the Qosarif mosque in Kazan uses most of these but if you click on the picture you will see a different version.
Why Different Versions?
If you are producing a general caption for a picture, e.g. an image that is being sold by a stock agency then include as much information as possible. An editor can always remove surplus information but it is difficult to add.
If you have a specific market or publication in mind then tailor your caption to that audience.
Writing for people to read online is vastly different from writing for readers of a paper or even ebook page. You’ve probably scanned this first paragraph to see if there is anything interesting. Maybe you are already scrolling down and reading the sub headings to see if I am going to convey anything relevant. If you had bought a book; having flicked through it, read the cover blurb and spent your hard-earned cash on it you would probably start at page one and read on from there.
Writing a captions is easy right? Just put in what’s in the photo. As the saying goes ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. So why duplicate what is in the photo? It is what is not there that is more important. And then we need to consider our audience. The average person might not spot the ‘mistake’ in the title of this post but and enthusiast might.