What's in a name?

What's in a name?  I had often been tempted by the idea that a photo should just speak for itself; that the artist need not influence the viewer with anything other than the image. No explanation is necessary 'make what you will of what you see'.  Some people even believe that a good photograph does not need written guidance. I reckon that's missing the point; of course, a photo does not need a title but when it has one, one that compliments it, an audience can derive understanding, benefit, insight, curiosity, enjoyment and sometimes even puzzlement. A title, like a name, makes sharing easier, telling others about a photo in conversation by referring to its title rather than 'the one with the man walking on the wet pavement' or 'that one with the girl standing in the snow wearing a red scarf'. 

© All Rights Reserved | Ellen Goodman 2014

I love this photo by Ellen Goodman of St. Louis, Missouri. A little girl looking into the distance, it's cute domesticity meets artistic storytelling at its best. But with its title 'Gunslinger Stance during Hopscotch Delay' everything comes together completely. Her hands become important elements, she looks like she means business and you wouldn't mess with her. In short, a memorable image becomes unforgettable and a perfect example of what's in a name.

You can see more of Ellen's excellent photography on her Flickr photostream 'analog girl in a digital world'