Just add words

What’s in a word? Beating writer’s block.


Can’t think of the word you’re thinking of? Tempted to just fill your book with pictures and let the reader make up their own story? We can relate. But a photo book does offer the chance to create a truly unique combination of words and images—letting you tell the story you want to tell. But while your photo collection may practically create itself, it may take a little more effort to summon up the tales behind the images.

Fortunately, this malady some call “writer’s block” can transform into a flow of ideas as quickly as San Francisco fog becomes California sunshine (that’s our analogy here at Blurb headquarters; feel free to insert your own here).


Word up

The following tips will help you see through the fog, find the words that bring your ideas to life, and create a book that’s as delightful to experience in language as it is in pictures.

  • Who is it? Instead of just noting the place and date of the photo, describe the person in the photo. What’s their name? What do they love? What makes them memorable?
  • What’s going on? Detail the events that just preceded the photo, the ones immediately after, and the drama of what’s happening in the moment you’ve captured for all time.
  • “I remember.” The photo is a snapshot in time. But what other times does it make you think of? Who does it make you think of? How do memory and the specific moment of the photo work together to spin a tale—past and future—around the present represented in the photo?
  • Answer these questions:
    • “This photo was taken when …”
    • “Look at …”
    • “It just goes to show that …”
    • “Even then, you were …”