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How to Choose a Photo Video Title

how to chose a photo video title

How to Choose a Photo Video Title Based on
3 Key Characteristics

So, is the title really that important? YES  it is!

How to choose a photo video title is sometimes a challenge. The title has to be the right length, in the right way, and with the right message.

You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”  Hogwash — a book is usually judged by its cover – which contains THE TITLE! The title is usually what causes a person to pick up a book in the first place and flip through it.  It’s the first impression! 

It’s the same with your photo video. Often, the title creates interest and wonder making your viewers want to keep watching or move on. That is why it is very important to know guidelines for how to choose a photo video title.

Remember, you are telling a story. 

Would you rather read “The Giving Tree” or The Boy and the Tree? “Where the Sidewalk Ends” or A Book of Poems by Shel Silverstein? It is all about choosing the words.

Characteristics of Good Photo Video Titles


The ideal length for a title is 5 words or fewer; however, if you must go longer, it is a good idea to try to break it into a title and subtitle. Also, be aware that in some instances one word will work, but that can be a little harder to do. The word has to have significance.

I have broken the 5 word  rule before. Yep. I actually titled a video with an eleven-word quote from Shel Silverstein and it worked because the viewers loved the quote.

“All the colors I am inside have not been invented yet.”

Let me give you another example. For one video I created, there was a signature word that kept coming up when people were asked to describe the subject of the video. The word was LOVE. Now, I could have titled it Love, but instead, I used “Where Love Resides” and began the video with a Bible verse about love 
(I Corinthians 14: 4-8). Then, the theme of the video was the person showing love.


Impression is an idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone. Impressions and emotions go hand-in-hand. It is imperative that the title evokes emotion or creates an impression. 

Does the title create an emotional response, or a memory? Does it create interest or anticipation? That is exactly what is needed for the characteristic of emotion/impression. And you want the viewer to feel the need to see more.

Let’s go back to the illustration I gave earlier “Where Love Resides.” Some say that LOVE is not considered an emotion, but it evokes emotions such as happiness, contentment, trust, etc. Actually, emotions are often defined as being seen in facial expression. Complex, I know, but the bottom line is how do you feel when you hear the title? 


This last characteristic is fairly basic. Is the title clear? That doesn’t mean you have to give everything away in the title, but it does mean that the title should be transparent or pure. If you try to be too clever the clarity may be lost.  This is not the place to play word games or use puns or current slang. You can, however, use current expressions in your title. Remember, the title is part of your work and will be tied to the video for generations to come. 

This DOES NOT mean the title should be dull. Far from it. The English language allows for a lot of variation and titles with a bit more originality will be most successful. You can also have a play on words like Back to the Future !

 One more thing about clarity. Increased clarity also works to help increase memorability. 

Let's look at some cool examples of (book) titles...

In this section, we will have some fun so let’s just take a minute to look at best seller titles from Amazon. You know that publishing companies have very sophisticated methods for choosing titles – so let’s see what the experts came up:.

choosing title

Title: Royal

Immediately makes me think of stories about kings, queens and other royalty.  It immediately gives me a general idea of the topic and let’s me know that if I would be interested or not. This also tells me that if I don’t like stories about the royals or period pieces, I probably won’t like it.

The title is very easy to remember and is clear! 

Length: +++++
Emotion/Impression: +++
Clarity: +++++

Title: Becoming

The one-word title is very inspiring and elicits thoughts of hope and betterment. By definition it means the process of coming to be something or of passing into a state.

The magic of a title like this is that it conveys the possibility that if she did it, you can do it too and she will share how. You know it is a book of hope – just by the title.  Becoming implies ongoing improvement.

Very easy to remember and intriguing but it doesn’t really give away what will be found inside. 

 Length: +++++
Emotion/Impression: +++++
Clarity: +++++

Title: FEARLESS: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown

Oh my gosh, that is a mouthful!  But, the primary title is FEARLESS. and that alone lets you know this is not a leisure read. The subtitle immediately pares down the audience with the specifics. You know exactly what this book is about and you probably know if it will hold your interest.. The word Fearless is easy to remember and the title is further modified after the colon. A great way to handle such a long title. 

Just from the full title, I can also determine if this book is not for me – for example maybe I don’t like high action, adrenalin-producing books.

FYI: The initial title was: Fearless: The Heroic Story of One Navy SEAL’s Sacrifice in the Hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the Unwavering Devotion of the Woman Who Loved Him (!)

 Length: ++
Emotion/Impression: +++++
Clarity: +++++

Title: Where the Crawdads Sing

This title is pretty good – gives off a great vibe to the point that you can almost smell and hear the low country.  It hearkens images of the bayou, mosquitoes, and southern food. But notice, there are no details to really give the story line away. It leaves just enough question that you want to know more. And based on the down-to-earth title, it seems this is a book about down-to-earth people. If I like action books, maybe this oone is not for me.

In reality, the name called to me and I read the book. By the way, I loved it!

Length: +++++
Emotion/Impression: ++++
Clarity: ++

Recap: How to Chose a Photo Video Title

  1. Consider the essence and tone of your video. Do you have a central theme?


  2. Review your photos to identify any patterns that emerge. Do most of the photos involve sports, or music, or family, etc? If so, perhaps that is incorporated into the title.


  3. The ideal length for a title is 5 words or fewer; however, if you must go longer, it is a good idea to try to break it into a title and subtitle. Also, be aware that in some instances a one word will work, but that can be difficult to do unless (there is always an unless) the person has a single word that they tend to live by. 
  1. Can you interject a little mystery and intrigue with the title? Sometimes the title alone will pique enough interest to draw the viewers into the story. Be creative without being being too complex or trying too hard to be clever.


  2. Let your title contain key words or phrases that describe the main theme, person or idea of the video. Keep it clear, meaning not cliched or jumbled. And – make sure it is easy to say. I have seen titles that are really difficult to enunciate — let alone, remember.

NEXT STEP: Grab a notebook and start capturing all of your title ideas. Then go through and ask how well they meet the characteristics.

So, there you have it! Hope you got some inspirational ideas from the best seller titles. Yes, I know you aren’t writing a book – but you are telling a story just as they are! 

How to Share Photo Videos with Others

how to share photo videos with others

How to Share Your Photo Videos

Think for a minute about these statistics: 

In a single minute, we send out 277,000 tweets; share 2,460,000 pieces of content on Facebook; post 216,000 new photos on Instagram; and upload 72 hours of new video on YouTube.


We live in a day and age where we can share our everyday life in a matter of a few seconds – and according to the statistics we do!. We like the connections sharing creates. We like to create videos to capture the important moments in our lives and we take photos for the same reason. It is fun and rewarding to share our life with others.

HOWEVER, the ultimate reward is when we can pull the best photos and videos together, tell a story – AND share that video story with family and friends!

See, when you share a single photo it is only capturing a shutter-speed moment in time. It doesn’t tell a story or convey more than the image itself.  BUT, when you put other images, video clips and music with it, a story begins to emerge!

That’s when magic happens

But, you might be thinking – a picture is easy to share and I have no idea how to create a great video – let alone share it!

Well, if you have been following Make Photo Memories, you know that it is possible to create a nice photo video story and to share it with others – in a safe and secure way. 

How to Share Your Photo Videos with Others

In my mind, the best part about creating photo videos is the opportunity to share them with others.  It is really much easier to do than you might think.

Sharing the Photo Video on a Device

One way to share your photo video is to copy it onto a device and give the device to someone so they can play it on their TV or computer. Devices to use:

      • Flash drive (thumb drive)
      • DVD
      • Blu-Ray disc
  1. A flash drive is very inexpensive and easy to use – just plug and play. Your recipient will need a computer with a USB port. Newer televisions also have USB ports. If you want to share with multiple people, you can go to Amazon and purchase a 20 pack of 4 GB drives for under $50.
  2. A DVD is another easy way to share. You copy the video onto a DVD and share it with your recipients to play on the computer or on a DVD player. To do this, you will need a DVD writer (common on most desktop computers. You might need to purchase an external writer if you have a laptop). And you need some blank, writable DVDs.
  3. The last way is the most costly, and that is creating the video as a Blu-Ray. To do this, you would need a Blu-Ray writer and Blu-Ray discs.

Sharing the Photo Video Online

 Many people are hesitant to share their videos online because they are concerned with privacy.  That is a good concern to have and while all online sharing options give you privacy options, for some, you MUST remember to make it private. Here, I will introduce you to three common sharing methods:

  1. YouTube is a great free platform and you can make your video public, private or unlisted. YouTube is very easy to use, even for a novice. and there are a ton of “how to” videos out there (on YouTube, of course). You must set up a free YouTube account to post videos. Here are the options:
    • Public is just what you think it is. Anyone can find and watch the video. This is NOT the recommended way to share your personal photo videos because of privacy issues.
    • Unlisted simply means the video will not show up in a search or in subscriber feeds, BUT anyone with the link can see it and share it. 
    • Private means you have total control over who sees your video. The only way to access it is if you have been given a link AND it is not shareable by others. The URL cannot be shared by others either.  This is our recommended way to share online.

2. Dropbox, a cloud storage service, is another fast and easy way to share photo videos with others. You give them a link and viewing privileges and they can access the video. The downside of Dropbox is that there is a size limit for the free version which may or may not be enough to hold your video. If you have multiple videos, at some point you will have to purchase more space. You can sign up and get the intro storage amount, but if you gets friends to sign up, you will get extra space for free.

3. Facebook is well known for photo and video sharing. When you share with Facebook friends, friends of your friends will be able to see and view your video. If you use Only Me, your video will be shared to your Facebook timeline, but it will only be viewable to you. That isn’t very helpful. What you can do, is remove the Share button so no one can share your video with others. In this current crazy world, I would not advise anything personal on FB, especially if images of children are included.  We do NOT recommend using Facebook to share personal photo videos due to privacy issues.


When you create (render) the video for sharing via flash drive or online, you will want to determine the best file type. Generally, I save my videos in multiple formats to give me options in how to share them. These are the formats I generally use:


SUMMARY: When you pick your video creation software, make sure it renders at least MP4 which seems to be the most universal (Windows, Mac, mobile devices). 

Photo Management on the Cheap

budget friendly photo management options

Do you want to get a quick handle on your photos and not break the bank?  Then please read on!  

In this post, we discuss how to manage your photos on the cheap. We discuss the three main areas you need to think about for your photo management — Protect, Organize, and Share.  We also cover these areas in greater detail in separate posts, but this is a great place to start. 

collection vault


Let’s assume that you’ve got tons of photos taken on your phone (cellphone). If so, you are one of billions of people who do — and most have no other camera.  These can be pretty precious images and you don’t want to lose them!  

But what if you lose your phone? Or you drop it and drive over it? Photos gone!  Well, maybe not.  Your iPhone or Android phone is probably sending all of your photos and videos to “the cloud” which is just a nice name for a computer located remotely and managed by your cell provider. When you have this security, the photos are kept safe and sound – no matter what happens.

The cloud should be safe and still be there tomorrow, but if you want to feel just a bit safer, periodically COPY your photos from your phone to a computer (hard drive) or to an external USB hard drive.  This is what we call your Collection Vault. The external drive will set you back a few bucks, but it’s a great way to keep your photos in one place.  And it is very portable.

RECOMMENDATION: Combination of cloud storage AND external USB hard drive (about $40-$60)

When you copy photos and videos from your phone to another device (like your computer), the next time you do it, you run the risk of getting duplicate copies.  Normally your copy method will warn of this but what if you’ve re-organized or moved stuff around in the copy destination? 

The simplest way to avoid getting duplicates is to just delete the originals from your phone as soon as you’ve copied them.  We do this but only after we’re sure we have copies in TWO places — either on a second external drive or full-resolution cloud copies.

Another way to prevent duplicates is by using software that synchronizes files between your phone and the copy destination. We use Free File Sync which is a great program.  It is also the best way to keep a second backup synchronized with your primary backup. 

device inventory


How easy is it for you to find the one photo you want to show to your friend?  Not so easy, most will say!  Enter the world of photo organization.  For this, we need a tool (app or program) to help us out. We tried the “folder method” – established naming conventions of folders and subfolders that hold your photos. That took way too much time to maintain and we still spent time searching — and you can only give so much meaning to a folder name.  And don’t even think about renaming individual photo or video files!  That will drive you crazy!  To fix this problem, a method called ‘tagging’ can be used to give single photos multiple search terms.  

Both Apple and Android phones come with apps that will group photos by person (facial recognition), location (geolocation), or date. This helps you find photos, but if you want to get more specific, like finding wedding events, you will want to use organizer software that will work with photos that are stored on your computer or external drive.  We use Adobe Photoshop Elements but at around $99 MSRP it’s not budget friendly. 

RECOMMENDATION: A good on-the-cheap (free) option is Adobe Bridge.

Adobe Bridge is an organizer that is easy to use and It has excellent tutorials. Adobe Bridge indexes all of the photos and videos that reside in your collection vault. If you need to learn more about the vault, take a look at our post that explains it. If you occasionally move photos/videos around into other folders, your organizer program should be able to recognize the this and keep things, well… organized! 

One downside of Adobe Bridge — no facial recognition.  But you can make name tags and apply them. 


A few words about photo editing while on the ‘Organize’ topic…

Both Mac and Windows computers come with built-in Photos apps.  With them you can do basic photo editing like red eye removal, cropping, and color/lighting adjustments. To go beyond the basics, there are lots of free apps like Pixlr or GIMP, and paid apps like Adobe Photoshop. 

See our post on photo editing for more details. 

Note: When editing any photo be sure you know if it is changing the original photo or working with a copy (which is what you probably want).  Look in the program settings for this! 

cloud storage


This sounds touchy-feely, doesn’t it? Well, it is meant to be! Our life stories are meant to be shared with those we love and preserved for future generations. There are so many ways to do this – social media, videos, emails, gifts. The list is endless. 

But, for the purpose of this post, we will give you some easy ways to share your images quickly through social media and photo sharing sites. 

After you have optimized your images, you are ready to share them. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know how to share in Facebook and Instagram, so we will make an assumption and move on to some that might be new for you.

Here are some popular photo sharing websites with FREE entry points – there are many more.  Sharing with others is pretty easy with these services unless noted in the descriptions below. 

  • Google Photos
  • Amazon Photos
  • Apple iCloud Photos
  • Dropbox 
  • YouTube 
  • Flickr

Google Photos is amazing in that you get FREE unlimited storage for photos up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p.  Larger files count against the free capacity of 15 GB (which also includes your emails and files on Google Drive) and the next step up in storage is 100 GB for $19.99/yr which can include members of your family. For Android users, the app is built-in. It is also available as an app for Windows users and for Apple users on iPhone and iPad.  Google accounts are free. 

Amazon Photos is also “cross-platform”, meaning it is available to users of Apple, Android, and Windows devices. Free account users get 5 GB of storage for photos and videos.  Amazon Prime members get unlimited photo storage and 5 GB of video and file storage.  The next step up is 100 GB for $19.99/yr. 

Apple iCloud Photos is great for iPhone users. The free version gives you 5 GB of storage and starts at $12/yr for 50 GB. It’s not so great for sharing photos with Android or Windows users who will need to use a web browser to view shared photos.  There is no app for Android. 

Dropbox is cross-platform and you get 2 GB of free file storage which includes photos and videos. BUT the next step up in storage space jumps to 2 TB (terabytes) for $9.99/mo. 

YouTube cannot be ignored on any lists like this!  It may be the BEST way for sharing videos that you create from a photo collection.   Your videos can be public or private (shared only with people you’ve chosen). And it certainly is cross-platform. 

Flickr is cross-platform.  The free version limits you to 1000 photos (seems like a joke).  Then it jumps to $60/yr for “unlimited” photos and videos.  Reviews of this service are pretty mixed and your files are public unless you go in and restrict them.  Flickr is owned by SmugMug. 


OK, hopefully we’ve outlined how you can have all the tools you will need to do basic photo management without going broke. After you are comfortable with these tools, you may want to consider more advanced ways to edit and share your photos. 

Just think how great you will feel when you can find a certain photo in less then 5 minutes!

How good will you feel when you know your photos are safe and secure and will NEVER be lost?

Just think about all the cool things you can now do with your photos!

The Rule of Thirds (photography)

The Rule of Thirds in Photography

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds is a photo composition technique used to make images more engaging and attractive. When shooting a picture with your camera or smartphone, it is a good concept to keep in mind. If you take a course in photography, it will be one of the first things you will learn.

The concept is pretty simple. Perhaps thinking of what NOT to do will drive home the point. Simply, do NOT put the subject of the photo in the very center of the frame! Think of the image frame as broken into a 3 x 3 grid of boxes. You want to place the subject of the photo ON one or two of these lines. That’s it in a nutshell.

Note that the four places where the lines intersect are the “most interesting” spots for your subject.

Here are some examples…

The horizon is in the lower third — a good rule of thumb for landscape shots.

Or put the horizon in the upper third. We are offset to the left…

Tower on left vertical, center of buildings on lower horizontal line…

No need to be exact — just close enough.

3×3 Overlay on Your Camera

Some cameras and smartphones have a setting that can overlay the grid on your ‘viewfinder’ to make it even easier to set up the shot. My Samsung Galaxy S7 (okay, it’s a bit long in the tooth) has an option, called ‘Grid Lines’ …

Here’s how it looks when taking a picture (the lines don’t appear in the actual photo). Hard to see here but look closely…


Breaking the Rules

Actually think of this “rule” as a guide. There are times to break the rule! Traditional portrait shots (people) are one example. But for casual picture taking, you’ll probably be happier with the rule of thirds.

Photo Editing

If you have some photos that are centered you can always do some cropping and get the desired effect. In fact, that’s exactly what I did in the examples on this page. I plead guilty!!

— Vince D.