Peter Tsai Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

10 tips for your captions from the Sales Team

We recently asked our colleagues on the Alamy Sales Team for some ideas on what we can do to help our customers have a better experience with Alamy. One of the main things that came out of this was the feedback that our clients are often asking for really good captions to help them with their searches, so we thought we’d collate some of the requests right here. Hopefully this will help you to create some solid captions for your work to give you increased opportunities to make sales.

Remember, these are real requests from paying customers so the more you can help them the wider reach your work will have!

1. Be thorough

Where appropriate, convey concepts and emotions (i.e. strength, speed, happy, etc) in addition to their literal descriptors.

2. Get your science hat on

Include scientific / Latin names for nature imagery and for wildlife images include the species, order, genus, etc. This is especially important for scientific publications and textbooks.

3. Accuracy is essential

Be as clear and concise as possible, and it sounds obvious but make sure you get the spelling correct for any names and places / locations and make sure your date is accurate.

4. Remember, recall, recollect and dwell upon: synonyms

To widen your reach, include synonyms relevant to your image (woman, lady, female, etc).

5. Don’t forget keywords

If your caption contains important keywords, make sure you add them to the keyword fields too in order for the search engine to find the increased relevancy.

6. Remember the 5 W’s

Who, What, When, Where and Why.

7. Roaming free?

For animals, if it’s not obvious, include information on whether or not the image was taken with the animal in captivity or the wild.

8. Location, Location, Location….most of the time

Only include the location information if it’s important to the image. If you’ve taken a still life of a fruit bowl in New York, we don’t need that coming up in searches for New York.

9. Remember: it’s a caption

Stick to a factual description of what the image shows, the caption isn’t suited to be used as a title for your artwork.

10. Two versions of English

It can often be useful to have both UK and US spelling and terms, such as ice lolly and popsicle, lorry/truck, rubbish/garbage, color/colour.

If you’re captioning new images or going back to do some tweaking, take note of the suggestions above and this should lead to more exposure and sales for your work in the future!

For more advice on keywording, check out our captioning and keywording help pages.

A photographer, digital media degree holder and part of the Alamy Content team for 15 years. James has a strong interest in all things visual and is our Head of Content.