What (Not?) To Do: Captioning Edition

What (Not?) To Do: Captioning Edition

We gently and calmly tell our photographers time and again how to correctly keyword and caption their photos, but some bravely persevere and ignore each and every piece of sound advice. Never has this been done to more hilarious effect than by Argentinian photographer Martin Korben; I feel like he has a much better chance of writing a bestselling graphic novel than selling loads of stock.

And that is a compliment! Take a look– I dare you not to become engrossed.

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Maria is an Argentinian actress and this is a backstage shot from a small fashion campaign i shot for a friend of hers.

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This I shot during a weekend getaway with my good friend Luciano. A
month after this his boyfriend saw the picture and sent me the
stupidest e-mail ever.

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This we shot at a friend’s country house with some rented neon lights.
The boy’s called German and up till the last minute we all thought he
was gay. And the girl’s name is Caro, she won the Elite Model Look
contest here in Argentina.

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Luciana is a glamour model and she’s always glad and willing to take
off her clothes for my personal portfolio. I love her because whenever
she calls me on my mobile phone the first thing she says is: “Hola Gay.”

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Andrea is friends with my friend (and makeup artist) Cecilia. After
meeting her I realized she starred on a kid’s soap I used to watch.
She’s VERY easy going and fun.

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I shot this during a weekend getaway to Mar Del Plata; the closest,
most popular beach to Buenos Aires. My friend Agustina lives there and
she owns a collection of these so I just borrowed them and spent a
whole morning playing with them. And yes, people did stare.

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I saw this while coming back home one night– a terrible one.

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Her name is Azul, spanish for the color “blue.” She asked me to take
her portrait once and this turned out to be my favorite. She was very
nice and collaborative.

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I dated David for less than two months. This was shot during month one.

Our in-house linguist and captioning guru Kate Thomas weighs in here about captioning (she’s not-so-secretly amused by Martin, though):

“Personal moments can make for fantastic, genuine stock imagery with a
broad appeal. Even so, a great stock photo /caption/ should be
informative, brief, and professional– not personalized.


News captions
are written
to provide contextual information that’s essential for understanding
the larger importance of an image.

In general, captions for creative images don’t need to provide a lot of
background info. They need to specify and explain only what you can
actually see in the image. It’s not helpful to a buyer to know that the
woman in the picture is your mother, or that she’s wearing her favorite
hat that you bought for her last year on vacation. The lives and
opinions of photographers and their subjects are simply not relevant
for creative captions.

BUT- it must be said- some people’s lives are just more entertaining than others.”

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There are 8 comments for this article
  1. Fabian Gonzales at 3:13 am

    I love it. And Martin is actually doing the right thing: using PhotoShelter as a portfolio site. That’s likely to be a much more effective use than relying on PhotoShelter to license your images as stock.

  2. GeorgeKaplan at 3:25 am

    “and up till the last minute we all thought he was gay.” there’s a very funny story in there. A very funny story.

  3. Mr. Roto at 2:30 pm

    Its nice to see talented people giving well deserved recognition to upcoming ginuses like this one here. Oh… I remember the days of the shitty camera and old-70s-sci-fi-sagas states of mind. Glad to see it all turned out this way, keep it up, you owe it to yourself. Black kiss m/k! Roto

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