As the mobile phone with camera becomes more common, it opens even more opportunities to capture those special moments that will become a part of our families’ history. Sure, we all know how to take a picture and email it or post it on Facebook, but isn’t it time to learn how to use these tools so we can do more than just take a picture. We need to look at these devices as tools for telling a story.
Look around and you’ll find lots of inspiration. National Geographic has taught geography to generations of children just with photos and captions. How many times has a photo caught your eye, then the caption grabbed your interest to the point that you actually read the article? Even when it didn’t, they still managed to give you a lot of interesting information in that simple caption.
Instead of posting your photos to Facebook, consider posting them to a photo-sharing site like Flickr. Why? Flickr stores full-sized images along with the metadata embedded by your camera – including geo-codes identifying where the photo was taken. In addition, you have full control over who can and can’t see them. Using the free Flickr app [iOS and Android], you can capture live events and share them immediately. Both the desktop and mobile apps give you the ability to add titles and descriptions then share copies to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email and your blog with little effort. You don’t have to worry about documenting date, place and time. The camera and Flickr take care of that for you. Spend your effort writing a caption. Think of it as a short story like those you found so fascinating in National Geographic.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but with a good caption it becomes a story. And a collection of stories can then become a family history.