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So you want to write? - part 1 of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Published 01/11/2007

The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is an incomplete assessment! A picture and a thousand words is worth much more than either of them, separately.

Words and pictures go together like plums and custard. Did you know that a caption with a picture, in an advertisement, gets read seven times more frequently than the body copy. Do you know where you should place the headline in a flyer? Read on!

The need to combine pictures and words falls into two categories for photographers. Broadly these are creative writing and business literature. The aim of the creative writing is to use the words to assist in the selling of your pictures - you are, after all, a photographer! The purpose of your business literature is to sell your services be it weddings, portraits, commercial, whatever.

This can take the form of flyers, promotional material or posters. The two categories share many characteristics but not all characteristics, there are things you might do in a poster which you would not do in a creative piece of writing. A concrete example - ordinarily you do not write '7' in a creative piece, you write 'seven'. However, for advertising headlines you always use numerals to gain attention (and by the way one to nine are good numbers along with 11, 22 and 33).erals to gain attention (and by the way one to nine are good numbers along with 11, 22 and 33).


If you have a bunch of competent pictures of the highlands you are unlikely to sell them. If you add good words they suddenly have contact and more value, and you could then approach outdoor, lifestyle and holiday magazines. If you win an SWPP monthly award and send just the picture to your local rag they are likely to say, "so what?". Add a bit of spiel, a mug shot of yourself holding a print, topped with the caption 'Local photographer wins national award' then you are suddenly tempting the editor to use your material.

Editors under stress are just like any other humans - if you offer them something quick and dirty they take it; offer them something quick, dirty and correctly spelled they grab it out of your hands! Do not imagine that we sit here at our Editor Mansions in a perfectly ordered world, in which everything is planned - when an advert fails to arrive, despite numerous phone calls, we are on the lookout for a half page to fill the hole - it might just be the shot of you and your SWPP entry.


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1st Published 01/11/2007
last update 14/02/2014 14:49:06

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