by Susan Duncan Pine Tree High School Longview, Texas Writing Captions Believe it or not, you won’t remember a lot of your classmates ten years from now. Capture their history with strong captions.
Yearbook captions are probably the most widely read part of your book. Therefore, they deserve your best effort to adequately explain what’s going on in the picture and to give background information and interesting facts which the reader will need to get the full picture.
Formula1st sentence– Tell what’s happening in the photo in present tense. During the first leg of the race on the Gladewater course, junior Katelyn Stark establishes her pace.
2nd sentence– Give a sentence of background information or an interesting statistic- a specific your reader probably would not know. This can be in past tense. During the first leg of the race on the Gladewater course, junior Katelyn Stark establishes her pace. The cross country runner finished 15th in the girls’ division and helped the team win the first place trophy.
3rd sentence—Give a second specific or get a direct quote from someone in the photo or someone connected to the action in the photo. During the first leg of the race on the Gladewater course, junior Katelyn Stark establishes her pace. The cross country runner finished 15th in the girls’ division and helped the team win the first place trophy. “I love to run the courses,” Stark said. “The early Saturday mornings are a killer though.”
Don’t begin all your captions in the same way. Vary grammatical patterns. For example, use subordinate clauses or infinitives to begin captions. Avoid beginning captions with participles, articles, prepositions or a student’s name. Tips
Don’t mention the photographer or the camera in your caption. If a photo is available, somebody that photo with a camera so the information is redundant in the caption.
Identify everyone (not just students) in the photo with first and last names unless you have a large crowd shot.
Everyone in the photo should also have an identifier like coach Bubba Johnson, Superintendent James Horseradish, senior Jeff Jetson.
Do not use the name of the school, the mascot name or the school year in your captions.Avoid the words “this year.”
Don’t editorialize. (e.g. Way to go!, Go band., Yeah, Bulldogs., The team had a great year.)
Use strong nouns and verbs. In the final moments as the football team squeezed past League City, 14-13, they realized they had won their first state championship. The crowd made the stands tremble with its collective jump as the final horn sounded proclaiming their team the victors. “The emotions rocketed, and the popcorn flew like confetti,” senior Jeb Morrow said. “I’m glad no one got hurt in the celebration.”
Assignment • 10 photos of Pearland ISD students • The student must be doing something in the picture • Get the first and last name and grade level of every student (up to 4 students) • If more than four, give them a title • Classifier (ex Senior) for every student • A quote from at least one student • Background information about where they are and what they are doing