Titles and Meaning

I never title my photographs.  Many photographers do, but I prefer not to.  I think the photograph should stand on it's own and should not require a title.  Other photographers believe titles provide context and help a viewer appreciate the photograph more.

The photograph above is a new image added to the King Frost Gallery.  This is an annual parade in my home town and for the last four or five years I have spent a couple hours photographing the town and people as they prepare for the big evening.  I posted a blog entry highlighting this gallery last year and at that time there were no titles on the images.  When I added new photographs from the most recent parade in October, some of them were photographs that I really liked - but you couldn't tell they had anything to do with the parade, unless there was a title.  The image above is an example of that.  I really like the photograph, but you wouldn't know it is part of an overall related project without the title and the context it provides.  It shows people and families walking through the town park on their way to claim their parade viewing spots on the streets above.  Without the title, you have no clue it is related to the King Frost Parade.

As I added about ten new photographs to this gallery, it seemed to me that the overall project was more interesting with titles, than without titles.  The titles added context and brought the whole project together.

I also solicited some advance feedback from a (former) friend on these photographs overall and his feedback was decidedly lukewarm.  On the other hand, my family and I like them.  So, a second question is… are these good or interesting photographs to a broad audience or only to people who have a personal experience with the parade itself?  In other words, do we like these images simply because we grew up in this town seeing this parade every year?

PS - If this work isn't your cup of tea and you feel ripped off by me not posting a nice new landscape photograph, take a look at the first row of the Color Landscapes Gallery.  The first and fifth images are brand new postings!

Brian ReitenauerComment