Use photos to inspire your writing. Prompt #206

You can use photos as writing prompts. Choose one of your photos, or a photo you remember and write about it.

First, look at the photo (if you can). Write all the details that you see. Write about what happened before and after the photo was taken. Write about your feelings connected with this photo.

Photos might remind you about activities, important occasions and details that you may have forgotten.

Larry and Car

Did Great-grandpa always wear a hat? What was his first car? Where did he work?

Siblings. What did Grandma think as her son went off to war?Hyne siblings.Mother

What did his sisters think? Did they send him off with special remembrances from home? Did they listen to every radio broadcast about the war? Did they watch events play out on television? Are there any letters from that era?

Margaret.Graduation Day

Grandma’s graduation day photo doesn’t look like today’s graduation photos. What were Grandma’s plans after graduation? Did they come true? What happened after she graduated? Who was the first one to graduate from high school in your family? The first one to graduate from college?


Brides! Wedding photos! Do these types of formal occasion photos live in your photo album? Bride on her way to getting married.Are they formal photos? Casual photos? Any videos? Tell the backstory of these wedding photos. Tell about the people in the background. How did the bride and groom meet?

There are over 200 prompts on The Write Spot Blog. Photos accompany every prompt. You can use any of these photos as jumping off points to inspire your writing.

If you see a missing photo, please let me know. Some of them have mysteriously disappeared.

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  1. Lisa Goben

    It’s a faded color photo of my dad from August 1972, the square kind with the thin white boarder around the edges. It was taken in Wildwood, New Jersey while we were on vacation there. Dad is standing on the sidewalk below the balcony of our motel room. He smiles up at the camera while in his brown swim trunks. His hair is wet and he’s holding a bright orange beach towel in his left hand. Among other things, I can remember the warmth of the sandy sidewalk as I stare at the photo.

    Our family didn’t take vacations every year and when we did they weren’t trips to Disneyworld or flying to different states let alone different countries. But a few times we spent a week at the shore, splurging on a motel with a kitchenette, an ocean and swimming pool for day time activities and a boardwalk for evening entertainment and dinner. These were my favorite trips. Dad seemed to love spending time at the ocean. He seemed more relaxed than when we were at home. Maybe it was because he didn’t have to think about work or bills, just swimming with me or walking along the shore looking for shells.

    The essence of my dad was captured in this photo; his positive spirit, gentleness and love.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Lisa, lovely images evolve as you write about a photo of your dad. You paint a fun and satisfying picture of a special family time. I enjoyed your opening sentences . . . placing the time and location so readers can “see” this scene. There is built-in nostalgia with “the square kind with the thin white boarder around the edges.” I know exactly what that looks like, and have some of those photos in my album. I also liked hearing what you didn’t do for vacations. Excellent contrast with the warmth of what was memorable. . . family closeness and good memories. Good writing about a special photo.

  2. Lisa Goben

    I’m glad I got some of my feelings across. My heart gets full when I look at that photo and I wasn’t sure I could find the words to express even a bit of that. Thanks!

    1. mcullen Post author

      You did a great job, Lisa.

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