Looking at my own stuff I was struck by how some are very specific, others are very vague. In particular, a recent image was of the "Warren Road Bridge", a bridge over a swampy part of a reservoir in Baltimore that seems like it's many miles from nowhere, but is actually quite close to everywhere, even though it's in a rural area. Nobody who has not lived in the area would know what this is other than a generic bridge. Other titles include something more or less like "Pretty Picture of Something" and are vary vague. Aside from not "outing" private property or individuals, which is better? Specific or vague? Who cares about a specific bridge in a rural area...or...does that make it evocative of something else or does it matter at all?
As in so many things about art, I think, it depends on the art and what the artist is or isn't trying to communicate with the title.
My goal in titling my images is to pique the viewer's interest in the piece above and beyond the visual.
Sometimes my titles expand upon the visual information presented. Somewhat like your title with the bridge name. Other times, as in much of my abstract art, I will title it to purposely avoid my interpretation of the art and encourage the viewer to create their own interpretation of it.
1. direct -- Brooklyn Bridge
2. whimsical - A lovely warm day
3. puns - A hope and a Brayer (it was a printing brayer)
4. find something common in the image - From coughs to indigestion - naming things i see in the image itself like medicine.
5. point out the action - playing golf, morning preparations, making cookies
6. warm reminders - dinner with grandma, spending time with grandpa
7. naming colors or emotions - this is best for abstract -- so like feeling blue, would be for something blue.
i try to make it eye catching. just like a dessert menu. calling something - The super supreme mega chocolate cake. sounds a lot better than slab of brown cake. or the tropical twist Hawaiian special, sounds great for a drink and much better than - a goblet of yellow liquid.
Good question. In my case when I finish my digital art it has a generic name (for my personal use and maintain organized my folders) and I take the time to find a name. Because my main subject is sceneries and landscapes, I try to research on internet similar works to have an idea, later I look into the artwork about the weather, day or night, feelings, etc...
Interesting comments. When I look at sales and names for my stuff, as well as other images on the Recent Sales page, it often seems like the two don't have a lot of obvious connection. I tend to do an off the top of my head name, but, like a lot of us, I'd like to find the mythic "formula for success", a name that drives sales.
My images also lurch between places that are completely identifiable, like mid-town Manhattan, and others, like the bridge I mentioned above, that are fairly obscure. Nobody knows about that bridge other than the 30 people that use it each day, but everybody has seen the Empire State Building. I guess part of this depends on whatever the iconic status of the picture happens to be, but part of it is an attempt on my part to NOT label the setting except that it's a non-iconic place that evokes some sort of reaction.
I usually try to title the image appropriate to the subject but I don't think too long about it. My sense of humor also plays a part in many of my titles and hope that others get the reference.
Something generally comes to me fairly easily. Many times it's related to a familiar song that most people have heard before. I now have close to 4.5 K images in my gallery so I may from time to time accidentally give it a name that I've already used. I'm now starting to search the title in my own portfolio when I think there's a chance this could occur.
I still hold the image more important than the title however, so I don't worry too much about it. I think when you are too concerned about what to name the work, that's when you have trouble.
I use to drive myself crazy trying to come up with a good title, but now I title for SEO. If I look at my sold images, I have sold more SEO titled images than ones with creative names. I believe that it really does help.
i find straight on titles boring. you'll almost never find a mom and pop coffee shop with a normal name, the corner bar often has a whimsical name, and barbers really abuse puns.
headline news in many newspapers often come up with a strange title to pull in eyes. Wacko Jacko Backo was probably my fav when Michael Jackson finally came back. or Beat the Meetles, you can look that one up. those clever names stick in people's minds and without seeing the image or the keywords, they can get a gist what its about.
its about a wizard or alchemy. or whatever. and its a lot better than calling it untitled 1-1000.
but it really depends where these are posted and how people are seeing them. i haven't found one thing outsells another, though i never actually looked. just like i don't know if my avatar really makes a difference, but i have a new one each month. i think anything that attracts attention is good.
just keep in mind --- if you change the title - it will break all your links. so anyone that pinned you, tweeted etc - all of those become orphaned. the site corrects for this, but everywhere else, no. google can correct when the swarm comes.
I don't anticipate changing any titles, in part because of that and, in part because I don't see anything specific that points to needing to do it. Being currently in freeze, I'm looking at what I might do when I get back to "work", looking for some things to get better. Generally a title is just what blurts out of my fingers when I post an image.
I’m new to this. After years of wishing I could turn my hobby into something more I accidentally found this site. Any advice would help. My titles are in my head so far. After reading this thread I know I’m going to have to do a LOT of homework! What does SEO mean?
I try to stick to the facts and just name it what it is and if need be, what it is doing. I always look to see if I happen to have named one the same as the title I am thinking of. It gets tough when you shoot a number of images at one location tho, then it takes some thought.
Titles can be tough when posting for a long time member. Extremely important role in google search. I tend to do what Mike said also. I have lots of a artwork and photography I have done over the years I have not yet posted here because I couldn't come up with a good title..lol sad but true..Must have good title!!! :)
Tony - "Think all of your images as baby swanson and give them your last name." - Well, since I know that, based on some ancestral immigrant events, my last name is somewhat fake, if I put that into a search, it will probably turn up that sitcom character, Ron Swanson.
What does SEO mean? - Robin - Its search engine optimization. Titles, keywords or expressions that are likely to be the subject of other people's searches are important. If you look at that sort of thing, you can often see images that have keywords that are completely irrelevant, but if it shows up in a search it's all part of the dogfight of being noticed on line.
I guess this is all part of the game since there's no honor on the web.
@Tony and @Doug thank you both. Keywords are my nemesis. I can’t stand having to come up with so many! I use a keyword generator to actually come up with more than 4 or 5. That’s when I realized what a silly question I had asked lol. Titles are another thing. I want to name them what I want but who’s going to search for Red Lightning? I now understand NOT to use anything close to another title earlier. The main print was most definitely not the same as the products beside it. The title in the collection is wrong as well. I kind of jumped in with both feet eyes closed lol. Who knew this would cause such stress
I use 26 letters of the alphabet, but use them in such a way that each use
has a unique formulation of several letters together.
I do not always use the same letters, nor in the same format. :))
But seriously - some works 'name themselves' - they are so obvious.
I like to look for similar names to better-known works - and either use
a variant which is punning; or change a letter in the name of the better-
known piece and name my art that way.
For me, it's generally just the first few words that pop into my head when I upload an image. In some sort of right-hemisphere way, that generally seems about right for what I intended in the picture and I'm less likely to find something better when I overthink it, so that's generally that.
I read an online guide to naming art a few years ago. They said that matter of fact titles are bad because they are too dry...but that is what I prefer...as I do not like fancy fru-fru B.S. titles, like the article recommended.