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I have been having discussions with other photographers about live news captions.  I normally take the view that as long as I cover the 5 “W”’s, who, what, when, where and why I am OK and generally shorter is better for busy picture editors.   If a newspaper is going to use one of my pictures of a cabinet minister then it is normally attached to some sort of policy/announcement and all they need is a name title, location date Thus “ (date)  Julian Smith MP PC Secretary of State for Northern Ireland leaves a Brexit meeting at the Cabinet office Whitehall London” is sufficient.  Or “London 20th August 2019 Pro democracy Hong Kong demonstrators outside the Cabinet Office in Whitehall London.”  

 

If the photo is not is not so obvious, such as a recent Essex Custom Culture show (excuse the oxymoron) I would put in details thus “(date) 1937 Model T Ford on display at the Essex Custom Culture Show in Brentwood, Essex.  The custom Culture Show is an exhibition of British and North American culture from the early thirties to the sixties.”  

 

However i note some photographers put much much more detail in their captions.  For example Julian Smith MP PC Northern Ireland Secretary leaves the Cabinet office in Whitehall after a Brexit meeting, escorted by a police officer with anti Brexit protesters in the background”

 

i know there is no completely correct answer but what are contributors views?

Edited by IanDavidson

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Talking of which, I received this yesterday:

 

Dear Andy,  

 

The Live News team are constantly striving to get your pictures to our clients as quickly as possible. To ensure this happens and give your images the best possible chance of a sale, here are a few key things you need to do:

 

  • Only send your best pictures and make sure you are sending only one frame of each angle of your subject/event. (NO duplicates!)
  • Make a tight edit - limit the numbers of images you send to 20 and try to make sure your best pictures are in that first set you send. (Note - Sports, red carpet, and dramatic breaking news are exceptions to this tight edit request.)  
  • DO NOT put the date in the headline.
  • Always make sure the location is in the headline.
  • Please don't exceed the 600-character limit for the caption.

 

Captions must be in this format (in line with International media preferences):

City or Village or Town where picture was shot, Country where picture was shot. Date the picture was shot - Please spell out the month, we ping to the US and they require this. Who is in the picture - left to right. What is going on in the picture including any interesting facts. Credit: Your Credit/Alamy Live News

For example - Cuckmere Haven, UK. 15 August, 2019. Artist Keith Pettit places the first a series of steam-bent chestnut spheres on the beach at Cuckmere Haven in East Sussex. Made in collaboration with trug maker Charlie Groves, the complex shapes are inspired by the skeletal remains of ancient coccoliths - the calcium carbonate remains that make up the chalk of the South Downs. The exhibition ‘What Lies Beneath’ will be at the iconic coastguard cottages overlooking the Seven Sisters cliffs (pictured). Credit: Jim Holden/Alamy Live News.

 

 

If you have any questions, please email news@alamy.com

 

 

Kind regards,

Jessica, Neil, Amy and the rest of the Live News Team

 

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27 minutes ago, IanDavidson said:

Essex Custom Culture show (excuse the oxymoron)

Hey!

 

As with your two examples, I tend to pad out a caption if I think an editor might not be so familiar with the story and its components. I try to look out for quirky local events and add details of the charity that is running it and why, for example.

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27 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

Talking of which, I received this yesterday:

 

Dear Andy,  

 

The Live News team are constantly striving to get your pictures to our clients as quickly as possible. To ensure this happens and give your images the best possible chance of a sale, here are a few key things you need to do:

 

  • Only send your best pictures and make sure you are sending only one frame of each angle of your subject/event. (NO duplicates!)
  • Make a tight edit - limit the numbers of images you send to 20 and try to make sure your best pictures are in that first set you send. (Note - Sports, red carpet, and dramatic breaking news are exceptions to this tight edit request.)  
  • DO NOT put the date in the headline.
  • Always make sure the location is in the headline.
  • Please don't exceed the 600-character limit for the caption.

 

Captions must be in this format (in line with International media preferences):

City or Village or Town where picture was shot, Country where picture was shot. Date the picture was shot - Please spell out the month, we ping to the US and they require this. Who is in the picture - left to right. What is going on in the picture including any interesting facts. Credit: Your Credit/Alamy Live News

For example - Cuckmere Haven, UK. 15 August, 2019. Artist Keith Pettit places the first a series of steam-bent chestnut spheres on the beach at Cuckmere Haven in East Sussex. Made in collaboration with trug maker Charlie Groves, the complex shapes are inspired by the skeletal remains of ancient coccoliths - the calcium carbonate remains that make up the chalk of the South Downs. The exhibition ‘What Lies Beneath’ will be at the iconic coastguard cottages overlooking the Seven Sisters cliffs (pictured). Credit: Jim Holden/Alamy Live News.

 

 

If you have any questions, please email news@alamy.com

 

 

Kind regards,

Jessica, Neil, Amy and the rest of the Live News Team

 

Andy, this is really useful.  I do, most of the time, stick to these guidelines.  I need to check my “location in headline”.  I note this is a long caption but I suggest the contex need more information.  Thanks again

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1 hour ago, Avpics said:

Hey!

 

As with your two examples, I tend to pad out a caption if I think an editor might not be so familiar with the story and its components. I try to look out for quirky local events and add details of the charity that is running it and why, for example.

 

Agreed.

 

I find captions very difficult.  (Much nodding of heads at Alamy)

 

For Downing St stuff, I'm not sure the "after a Brexit meeting, escorted by a police officer with anti Brexit protesters in the background" is needed, but it does make a more rounded description, and may make for a softer landing on the editors desk?

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9 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

Andy, this is really useful.  I do, most of the time, stick to these guidelines.  I need to check my “location in headline”.  I note this is a long caption but I suggest the contex need more information.  Thanks again

I was a bit miffed when I received this email because I make sure my captions and headlines adhere to the guidelines.

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48 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

I was a bit miffed when I received this email because I make sure my captions and headlines adhere to the guidelines.

I received it too. I assumed it went out to all of us left in the 'club' so I wouldn't take it personally Andy.

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26 minutes ago, Avpics said:

I received it too. I assumed it went out to all of us left in the 'club' so I wouldn't take it personally Andy.

Cool, at least I'm not the only one!

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34 minutes ago, Colblimp said:

Cool, at least I'm not the only one

 

+1  But not miffed anymore!

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13 hours ago, Colblimp said:

 

 

Dear Andy,  

 

The Live News team are constantly striving to get your pictures to our clients as quickly as possible. To ensure this happens and give your images the best possible chance of a sale, here are a few key things you need to do:

 

  • Only send your best pictures and make sure you are sending only one frame of each angle of your subject/event. (NO duplicates!)
  • Make a tight edit - limit the numbers of images you send to 20 and try to make sure your best pictures are in that first set you send. (Note - Sports, red carpet, and dramatic breaking news are exceptions to this tight edit request.)  
  • DO NOT put the date in the headline.
  • Always make sure the location is in the headline.
  • Please don't exceed the 600-character limit for the caption.

 

Captions must be in this format (in line with International media preferences):

City or Village or Town where picture was shot, Country where picture was shot. Date the picture was shot - Please spell out the month, we ping to the US and they require this. Who is in the picture - left to right. What is going on in the picture including any interesting facts. Credit: Your Credit/Alamy Live News

For example - Cuckmere Haven, UK. 15 August, 2019. Artist Keith Pettit places the first a series of steam-bent chestnut spheres on the beach at Cuckmere Haven in East Sussex. Made in collaboration with trug maker Charlie Groves, the complex shapes are inspired by the skeletal remains of ancient coccoliths - the calcium carbonate remains that make up the chalk of the South Downs. The exhibition ‘What Lies Beneath’ will be at the iconic coastguard cottages overlooking the Seven Sisters cliffs (pictured). Credit: Jim Holden/Alamy Live News.

 

 

If you have any questions, please email news@alamy.com

 

 

Kind regards,

Jessica, Neil, Amy and the rest of the Live News Team

 

Andy, this is really useful.  I do, most of the time, stick to these guidelines.  I need to check my “location in headline”.  I note this is a long caption but I suggest the contex need more information.  Thanks again

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, IanDavidson said:

I have not had one - why have I been left out???😁

Neither have I - maybe they've just given up on us

(I just looked at two of mine from Tuesday and noticed I managed to misspell 'MP') 

Edited by Phil Robinson
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6 minutes ago, IanDavidson said:

I have not had one - why have I been left out???😁

 

I'm guessing that the feedback doesn't apply to you, therefore no email. Perhaps your captions are spot on then!

 

My take on the feedback is that I might not have put my best pictures in the first upload once or twice. I'll take it onboard, making a tighter edit has been mentioned a lot on the forum recently. I've been thinking about this since Chuck and Bills earlier endorsement of a tighter edit.

 

Obviously you've not seen the picture in the email. It's W9RTX9,  it's a good example of needing a very full  caption.

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, IanDavidson said:

I have not had one - why have I been left out???😁

You must be Peter Perfect, Ian! 🤣

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