Caption This

In this lesson about caption making, I learned a bunch of information. Before covering this lesson I did not appreciate captions as I should have since I am an aspiring journalist. I would just look at magazines or newspapers, even social media posts and glance at the caption to see who the person was or which event they were attending. I did not realize until now, how that plays a major role in photojournalism.

I learned that photography is not the only aspect of photojournalism. Prior to this lesson I figured that in order to be a good photojournalist you just had to have an artistic outlook on life and be able to capture the perfect moment. But it consists of so much more. Not only is your shot important, but you are also a journalist. Viewers expect your photo to show them what is happening but your caption needs to explain all the things they need to know to fully understand what is happening at that time.

For example, if you capture the buzzer beating shot at a college basketball game, the readers expect to know the name of the player that made the winning shot and the team they play for. Details like this are vital and you as a journalist need to be prepared and willing to retrieve this information from anyone that you take a photo of. Now imagine if there was just a photo of a player making a shot. You would not know the importance of that shot, who the person was, what team they play for (unless you could see the jersey), or any other background information about the photo. Without the caption, there would just be a nice photo in the article or just another photo to like on social media.

With that being said, I now have a new outlook on the way I read captions. I look for the who, what, where and whatever other details the photojournalist puts in their caption. I then find myself analyzing it to see if there was anything I would have done differently had I been at that place for that moment. This new found appreciation will be beneficial in the future as I continue to grow as a journalist and photojournalist.


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