Grab attention with the right combination of title and photograph...

Choosing the right image to illustrate an article, story or advertisement is vital for maximum impact.
But photo choice is tightly related to the title of the story. The combination of the two should invite the viewer into reading more.

Choosing a Title
There are several different styles of title to choose from, but the obvious descriptive title e.g.  ‘How to make a Christmas card’ is not always the best.
Below is a table of ideas for titles, depending on your subject some are more suitable than others.


Some example title types:
The Question  - Would you buy property here?
You or personal - You and your new home
Unusual or oxymoronic - Home at home, or home from home
Twist on the familiar, familiar with unfamiliar - Home is where the heart isn’t
Play on words / A Pun - House are you feeling (sorry!)
Alliteration - Hawaiian House Hunt
Hyphenation - Property in the ‘Hood with the Home-ies


Choose Images
Clearly the image you choose should be relevant, but like the title, it's not always the obvious choice that is the best. It’s not always easy to think outside the box so here are some tips:

Try to illustrate an abstract emotion or meaning using a ‘metaphor’ photograph.
The stereotype metaphor is a gold ring and two hands, nowhere does it say wedding, but the concept of the photo has wedding written all over it (it’s best to get a little more sophisticated that, and make your audience think just a little!). Look through the article for moods, feelings and emotions, or positive concepts like strength, faith, freshness etc.

An image alone can be eye catching, if you have thought of your great title then think of a few ideas
that could go with that title. Example of the “Hawaiian House Hunt” above you might find yourself looking for a
photo of 2 people in a car with a roadmap open, and perhaps just a few houses in the background:
much more interesting than a picture of a house by the sea when combined with that choice of title.

There are exceptions but it’s rare that you should end up just selecting a photo to make your article look pretty,
look towards enhancing some of the ideas or concepts in the story, or represent some of the places or items in it. Coming from a photo related site this might seem like a bold statement, but an average image is often passable where the written article is first-rate, none the less a better choice of image will help you sell your piece more easily, especially if it is a boarder-line situation. An average image is not acceptable for advertising where the chosen photo must be exceptional in all cases and often carries the bulk of the sales message.


Case Studies

Poor Choices
Better Choices
Title Images Title Images

Drug use at School


School Drug Problem

injection needle

pills drugs

Drugs - are Your Kids Dealing?


or perhaps leave the 'language play' for just the image:

The Drug Game - are Your Kids Playing?

joker cards

royal flush playingcards


How to loose weight


New diet plan

tape measure

weighing scales

Just one more bite...


And provided relevant to the article perhaps:

Eat more, loose more!


chocolate cake and fork

grapefruit bowl

All images used in this article sourced from this site


Photo credit: freeimageslive / gratuit

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