The Difficulty of Naming a Photo - Cramer Imaging - Quality Fine Art Photography
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The Difficulty of Naming a Photo

The Difficulty of Naming a Photo
The title of a piece of art can be just as important, if not more important, than the actual piece itself.  Because of this, artists take lots of care to pick out just that perfect name for their creative endeavors.  While picking out the right name for a piece of art is undoubtedly one of the more satisfying parts of creating something, it can be one of the most difficult to do.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality nature photograph of two white cherry blossoms on a branch in Pocatello, Bannock, Idaho
Cherry Blossoms
Creating art is about self-expression.  It's very much about adding something of value to the world.  Choosing the proper name for such an undertaking is about communicating one's self-expression to others in a manner they can understand.  Such a name is usually only a few words long at most.  If the wrong name is chosen, then other people miss the art form's meaning entirely.
Naming fine art is communicating one's self expression in language others can understand. #fineart
Photography is an art form just like many others.  It's about self-expression and creating something of beauty for the world to enjoy.  Fine art photographs require titles just like paintings and sculptures do.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of a dead tree in weeds on a lava plain at Craters of the Moon National Monument
Into Mordor
So how do we name our fine art photos?  The process for each is different.  Sometimes an image will simply speak to us.  It gives us its name.  It might even scream out its name before we click the shutter.  These images are the easy ones to name, however, they are few and far between.  "Idaho Spring" was just one such image.

Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of a farm field and equipment with colorful clouds in Rexburg, Madison, Idaho
Idaho Spring
Other times, we just give a name that is rather clinically descriptive.  Our image "Sunset at Bryce" is like that.  It just works for photos like that.  Now think about how something like "Golden Hour in the Hoodoos" would change your views on the photo.  You're probably wondering what "golden hour" and "hoodoos" are.  You would be right to.  Hoodoos are the name of the rock formations you see and sunset/sunrise is the golden hour.  See the use of clinical names?

 Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape and nature photograph of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah at Sunset Point
Sunset at Bryce
More often, we have to bash our heads against the wall to get some ideas.  In these cases, we generally start by looking at the image and saying what we see.  Then we name some adjectives that describe what we see.  We put them together in various ways until something seems to work.  This was how we gave "Ancient Red Skyscrapers" it's name.  Now imagine what you would think about this photo if we stuck with my original thought of "Rust Red Rocks."  It really changes the feeling of the photo, doesn't it?

Cramer Imaging's professional quality landscape photograph of red rock formations and dramatic sky in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Ancient Red Skyscrapers
Sometimes that doesn't work either so we start asking friends or family to help us name an image.  Often we have them go through the same process we did and sometimes they come up with something completely different.  Other times, a photo will remain unnamed for a while, even for years until the right name comes.

This image, shown below, was named by a family member.  It bears the name "Esto Perpetua" meaning it is eternal or perpetual in Latin.  This name took us a few hours to come up with and more than one family member assisting against a deadline.  It was really hard to get it right until that name came out.

Professional landscape photograph of farm equipment pivot line in Ririe, Idaho by Cramer Imaging
Esto Perpetua
Now, imagine if we had called it something like "Pivot Line in a Farm Field."  That really detracts from the overall feel of the image, doesn't it?  Something is missing with a simple descriptive title like that.  This is part of the difficulty in naming a photo: catching that missing element for you and containing it in a few words of a name.

Whatever method we choose for naming a photograph, we try to create a name for each image that evokes a feeling as well as describes the image.  Choosing the right name, based on these criteria, is sometimes the most difficult part of the process for us.  But we keep at it.  The next day may bring the inspiration we require to finally give some of our masterpieces a title.

If you would like a little practice at naming a photo, pick one or more of the photos you see here and try giving it a new name.  It can be descriptive or creative.  We would love to see what you come up with.  Share your new photo titles in the comments below.  If we like a suggestion, we might just rename the photo with your suggested name.