Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Photography / Artist Community Volunteer Kristina Truluck24/Female/United States Groups :iconanimalsoftheworld: AnimalsofTheWorld
Animal Lovers All Over the Globe
Recent Activity
Deviant for 8 Years
Premium Member 'til Hell freezes over
Statistics 323 Deviations 8,394 Comments 44,946 Pageviews

Newest Deviations


DD Guidelines


I'm the Photojournalism CV!

Suggestion Guidelines

:bulletblack: I only take Photojournalism suggestions, I cannot feature anything else (like scraps, portraits, or traditional art).

:bulletblack: Make sure that the deviant hasn't already received a Daily Deviation within the past 6 months. FAQ #313: How can I find out if someone already has a Daily Deviation?

:bulletblack: Send your suggestions to only ONE Community Volunteer!

:bulletred: Ask yourself this: Is it a newsworthy image? Is it something you would see in a local or national paper? If yes, keep going!

:bulletblack: Just hit the "Note" button on my profile page, put DD Suggestion in the subject, and include the thumb code along with the reason why you think the deviant deserves a Daily Deviation. Please keep 1 suggestion per note.

:bulletblack: I strongly encourage that suggested images have some sort of information relating to the picture in the artist's comments (description of event, date, location, name(s) of subjects if applicable, etc).

:bulletblack: Don't hesitate to self-promote!

:star: PJ often works in the realm of controversy.  If you’ve received any unsettling comments or notes because your image was selected as a DD, shoot me a note and I’ll do my best to settle the issue.  

I may not reply to all suggestions but I do read, consider and appreciate every suggestion :heart:.

What IS a Caption?

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words...but a caption is priceless, especially in photojournalism.  It's the background, the explanation to your photograph.  It tells us why we should care.  Austin Kleon provides an interesting insight on them in his article The Power of Captions: Words Added to Pictures.

Also, I'm trying to compress a 2 hour class into a single journal.  If you're interested in writing according to the AP Style Guide (I'm talking about commas, dates, location abbreviations, identification, etc.), there's a pretty sweet link at the bottom of the journal. 

Helping Out by tanikel
What's going on in this picture?  Is the soldier drawing a beautiful picture of the lady?  Is she writing the lady a ticket?  Who knows!  I am a dummy! 

The Magical Formula of Captioning Greatness

[who] [does what] [where] [date].  [why/how].  (Photograph by [you!]). 

Here's the caption for the picture above:
"U.S. Army Sgt. Lidya Admounabdfany writes down information from a local woman at the Woman's  Center near the Zhari District Center outside of FOB Pasab, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, Dec.
17, 2011. Sgt. Admounabdfany is a member of 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division's Female Engagement Team (FET) and is gathering information from women so the FET can distribute blankets
and winter clothing to the women and their families. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Kristina Truluck/Released)"

Time to break it down!  :dance:

This first sentence is the most important - you're linking the photo to the caption by the action.  The first sentence is always written in present tense. 

Who are you photographing?  Identify the main people in the photograph. Start with names, but don't forget titles, majors, hometowns and other identifying information.
Sgt. Lidya Admounabdfany is my subject.  Identifying the subject creates a sense of intimacy with the viewer - now they know who they're looking at. 

What are they doing?  Don't editorialize by inserting emotions - just state the facts.  Ex: A family eats their lunch outdoors vs. A family enjoys their lunch outdoors.  How do you know they're enjoying their lunch?  What if Joe Snuffy snuck a worm into his wife's sandwich and she hasn't yet found it?  Gross!   
Writes down information is what she is doing.  Short, sweet, and to the point. 

Where was this photograph taken?  Not everyone knows where the women's center is, or even where Pasab is, but they know Afghanistan.  Most of the time, just city, state and country is fine for a caption.  (Note: there is a specific way to abbreviate countries.  You can find it in the AP Style Guide)

When was it taken?  We have to know!  AP Style Guide wants journalists to write dates in the month-day-year format like this: Dec. 17, 2011.  All months except for March, April, May, and June are shortened to three letters.  This is especially important for newsworthy events such as combat operations, extreme weather, protests, etc. 

Why (or how) is this photo happening?  This is your second sentence, your background information.  Because the event already occurred, this is written in past tense.  Give us a reason to care about this photograph. 
Sgt. Admounabdfany is a member of 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division's Female Engagement Team (FET) and is gathering information from women so the FET can distribute blankets
and winter clothing to the women and their families.

The credit line is simple - YOU took the photo, so YOU should put your name in there! 

If you're photographing for an agency, the release information is added behind your name, but I don't think any of you guys have to worry about this.  ;p  Honestly, on DA, as long as you have the 5Ws/H on there in some kind of format, I'm thrilled.  I love reading captions, or even just some background information on the shot. 

Interviewing for Information

Oh god, you have to approach people and talk to them?!  If you know about the event beforehand, do some research.  Sgt. Google knows almost everything!  If you want accurate caption information - ask your subjects for their names - how do they spell it ?  Do they want their name written a specific way?  Don't forget to ask them for their hometowns - it can be used to encourage conversation and is an awesome extra bit of information to add to your caption.  It also builds trust between the two of you and makes you more memorable.  Who doesn't want to be known as the cool, friendly photographer that everyone wants to photograph their event?!

Your subject can also give you some cool information about the event that you're photographing (-coughsomethingtoputinforyoursecondsentencecough-).  The more information you get, the better, especially if you have to caption multiple photographs. 

In Short...

Tell your viewers what's going on in your photo! 

This doesn't apply to just photojournalism - try using it on all of your photos!  It's a wonderful way to encourage discussions on/about your work.  For more information, check out the links below:

Techniques for Caption-Writing - AP Style Book - The Journalist's Bible
4 Critical Reasons Why Photos Need Captions - In Praise of Captions

What about YOU?

:bulletgreen: Do you find reading captions to be useful?
:bulletgreen: What do you think when you see photos without any information or the ever-popular ellipses?
:bulletgreen: If you don't already, are you planning on adding background information to your photos?  Why or why not?


The home to the Photography Community Volunteers and any other members who are involved or interested in photography.


:iconcommunityrelations: :iconcrphotography:


tanikel's Profile Picture
Kristina Truluck
Artist | Photography
United States
500px | DVIDS | Facebook | Flickr

Soldier - Mother - Teacher - Photographer - Caffeine Addict - Animal Freak

I'm a combat documentation/production specialist (combat camera for us lazy folks) currently teaching the photography portion of my job. Outside of the military, I enjoy photographing for the horse rescue and the rodeo when it rolls into DC.

I'm fairly certain my children or my cats are going to be the death of me.

I can very easily be bribed with caffeine and cuddly animals.

And yes, I'm female. I checked. ;)


Add a Comment:
VanuInfiltrator Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
tanikel Featured By Owner 3 days ago   Photographer
hosagu Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Kristina, a sincere honor. Thank you :heart:
xthumbtakx Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
Hi Kristina! Do you take Street DD suggestions now?
tanikel Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015   Photographer
I take some of them - if they have a photojournalistic approach, you can send them to me.  If they're more of the spontaneous street photos, you can still send them to 3wyl or Kaz-D

I actually had this conversation with 3wyl the other day...are you a mind reader? Paranoid Tinfoil Hat 
xthumbtakx Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
Maaaaybe... :shifty: 

I will keep that in mind! Just saw that you featured one today and was curious.
cinyu Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Holidays! :la:
tanikel Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2014   Photographer
Happy holidays to you, too!  :glomp:
Timothy-Sim Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2014  Professional Photographer
i just realised, albeit a little late, you're the new PJ CV.
Congrats and all the best! If there's anything you need help in, i'll be very glad to help or lend a hand
tanikel Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2014   Photographer
No worries, I haven't been as active as I planned to due to work.  Thanks!
Got any spare brain cells?  ;p
Add a Comment: