Assignment 4: title decision: Wish You were Here

I’ve always held the opinion that the title of a project is important.

A good title gives the viewer enough of a hint about what the work is about without overtly spelling it out. It gives some kind of framework, a set of bumper rails to avoid the work getting too widely (mis-)interpreted.

Alec Soth, a photographer that I have a lot of time for, agrees:

“Titles are important. They affect the way people read the work.” (Soth 2007)

For my Nice calendar I hadn’t thought too consciously about a title until I started mocking up one of the intended executions (reminder: the concept is typical scenes of Nice as a tourist resort, with the names of the Bastille Day attack victims subtly incorporated).

I was working on the image below (it’s still a mockup / work in progress) when I asked my wife for feedback. I specifically asked what connotations one gets from postcards.


One of the things she said as part of the postcard word-association was:

“Wish You Were Here”.

Bingo. That’s the project’s overall title. It speaks to the two objectives of the work:

  • To promote Nice as a tourist destination
    • Due to the association between the phrase and holidays
  • To commemorate the victims of the attack
    • By reflecting the bereavement felt by the victim’s family and friends

I’m not necessarily intending to actually include this title as text on the calendar itself – it’s more a name for the project as a whole for when I need to refer to it as part of my assessment submission.

I always feel like a project is more concrete when it has a title…

Next step: I’m off to Nice for a few days next week to get a few more shots. I have ideas for the shots I want, just need to find them in realise once I get there.


The Ballad of Good and Bad Titles (accessed 21/09/2016)


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