How I name my images

One question I get asked a lot is how I come up with the names for my images. Well, I like to have fun with naming my images. To me, the name of each image is a central element of the actual image. Now, of course, many of the names come to me while I’m shooting the image. Some titles just seem obvious while I’m doing a shoot or setting up a shot. “Heavy Metal” and “Shopping Spree” are good examples of names that hit me during the shoot and just seemed perfect for the image. Another series I’m working on is a version of visual puns. In this case, the names come first, then the image is created around the name. “Jackass” and “D: None of the Above” are examples of these.

Many other names appear to me while I’m processing the images. Since I spend so much time processing and printing images, the time invested while working on an image for a period of time let’s my mind wander. Names often form in my mind during that stage of the process. “Where The Suckers Moon” and “A Hand in the Game” came to me this way.

The other way I get names is a little more obscure. Sometimes, no matter how much time I spend with an image, nothing comes to mind. One day, while stuck trying to think of a name for an image, I took a look at a horse racing form that was on my desk. Many of the race horse names are very unique and lyrical. The symbolism, I found, transferred into many images. “Iconic Imbalance” and “Deadpan Ambiguity” are examples of image titles derived or inspired by race horse names.

For me, the names for my images are an important part of their creation. Much like naming one’s child. So I put a lot of thought into it because I want to make certain the name captures the spirit of the image.