I think naming your photos is one of the most important things a photographer can do. It gives the viewer a name to the face after seeing the image. Either funny, powerful, dramatic or simply descriptive; a name can do so much for a photo. As a photographer the name states what you want the world to think of when they see your work.
Sometimes an image and the name are a perfect fit. Our most popular image, Together Again, was named soon after I was done editing. It just came to me when I viewed the final outcome. The idea behind the photo was two starfish were reunited on the beach after being lost at sea. I could have named it Reunited or Glad to see you, but they don't have the same appeal as Together Again. Being together with that special someone after a long period of time can feel amazing. My intent was to give these starfish purpose, as if they felt that feeling of happiness just as you or I would feel. When customers see this photo they smile and most of the time they smile wider when they hear the title.
Normally I name photos after I see the final product, or sometime close to the final edit. On occasion I name the photo first before shooting. With our photo called Shall we dance? I had the idea of dancing starfish before finalizing the scene. It was only a matter of time until I had the right starfish in the right place before completing the photo. With most of our shell photos I try to keep the title simple, unless it's a really complex photo. Photos like 3 Strawberry Shells Close-Up or Dual Queen Miter Shells tells you exactly what you are looking at. Seashells usually have two names: one is the Latin name or Genus Species while the other name is known as the common name. I try to stick with the common name when identifying shells in my work because the full name can be tricky to say. I haven't had a marine biologist ask me about my work yet, but I'm sure I'll try my best to name the shells they point out. It's been awhile since the days of the M.A.T.E.S program so I hope I can still remember the names!
With this featured photo, Old Barney and the Jetties, I had to stay with something simple yet play a little with the wording. Old Barney is the loveable name for the lighthouse and of course the rocks in the frame are called jetties (although small ones in this case). But when I named this photo I was thinking more along the lines of a rock band; with the lead singer going first and the rest of the band getting a cool name. Earlier in the week I posted a photo from across the inlet, with Barney being very small in the picture. Today I figured I would get a little closer to the subject and see how it looks next to its neighbors, the jetties. Let us know if you like the photo and the name.
Don't forget, our first show of the season is this Saturday, April 16th in Smithville from 10am until 6pm. It's been a long time since our last show, but we're ready to get back into it. Stop by and see us if you're in the area on Saturday!
Washed Ashore Photography