Lesson 23: Captions - opportunity for further reflection

While I want you to think of your photos as stories that stand alone in their own right, captions provide an opportunity for further reflection on the moment captured in your photo.

As always, though, the key is to focus on how it feels, not how it looks.

What do I mean by that?

Well, it’s very tempting to write a caption that describes what is in the photo. “Great day at the park!” “Play date at home this morning!” 

And I know, sometimes that is all you have in you to come up with. I have certainly found that to be the case, especially when catching up with my photo-a-day project.

But when you focus on how it feels, not how it looks in your captions as well as your photos, you can deepen your experiences and memories as well as your confidence and gratitude.

It is through editing and reflecting on my photos as well as sharing my photos and the stories and reflections behind the moments that I know that my children are self-confident and happy and that I have confidence that I am doing a good job as a parent.

Put this into action now: 

When you have a photo that you'd like to share, think of the caption as a mini-journal entry. Follow this three step framework to help you get beyond the descriptive.

  1. Write about the why of the moment - what triggered you to take the photo and why you want to share it.
  2. Write about the feelings of the moment - yours as well as your child's.
  3. Reflect on the bigger picture of how this photo represents more than just that moment - perhaps it is about what you most want to remember about this time, or a development you’ve seen in your child, or something you’ve been noticing or feeling lately, or something you are particularly excited about or grateful for.

My caption (as I would write it to friends and family - and admittedly this was not what I wrote at the time I shared the photo!):

I've been wanting to visit the new areas at Governor's Island all summer, and we finally got to go last week. After playing amongst the hammocks and sliding down the slides (the kids, not me!) we climbed up this hill that opened up to this incredible vista with the Statue of Liberty perfectly framed between the two hills. [why] I loved how the boys paused to look at and get excited about recognizing the Statue of Liberty (Jack said he wants to go to the top) and the the juxtaposition of kids, nature and a world famous urban landmark. [feelings] I love that my kids get to grow up here. [bigger picture]

For so long, Jack has been the one coming to Liam's drop off. I love how it's reversed now [why]and how Liam enjoys getting involved in Jack's morning choice time activity in the same way Jack used to love getting involved in his! This morning they both really got into the pattern blocks and it was interesting to see the different patterns they each created [feelings]. It's so amazing that they are both part of the same school community now. [bigger picture]

Today’s photo prompt: What is your favorite thing about your child right now?
Next up: Action day!

Note: I'll be giving you daily photo prompts to help you in your photo-a-day project, but they are completely optional. Ultimately you should choose the photo for your project that best reflects what you most want to remember about the day.

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