Consider keywording your images today-if you aren’t already.
Building a database of images with attached keywords has become easy and necessary in the world of digital capture. If you want to find a specific photo or photos in that sea of thousands of RAW and JPG files on your computer, you stand your best chance if you’ve diligently keyworded your images. Whether it is all pictures of your daughter Mary taken in 2007 or any pictures you have of hound dogs, keywords will ferret them out.
Keywording has become a hot business tool too. With all the budding photographers out there expanding their portfolios into the micro-stock photography world, having a good keyword schema is becoming critical. The more accurately and completely a person can keyword their images, the better the chance they will be seen, and possibly sell, an image or two.
Building comprehensive keyword lists is tedious and very time consuming. It requires a lot of thought, organization and, in many cases compromise. Our language is so intertwined with cross-category words and multiple usages that keywording becomes problematic. Homonyms are particularly difficult to deal with in a keywording strategy.
Take the example word Spring.
Is it the season? Is it the natural upwelling of water? Is it the mechanical component? Is it a mathematical description? Is it the action of leaping?
If you keyword it as the lone keyword ‘spring’ you might not get what you are searching for. Fortunately modern DAM Software gives you a solution in the form of hierarchical keyword structuring.
Natural Forms-Seasons-Spring *
Natural Forms-Water-Flowing-Spring *
Mathematics-Curved Surface – Spring
*The top two are excerpted from my new Keyword Set: Natural Forms, which has just been released for sale. When imported into a serious DAM tool like Lightroom, it can give you the ability to quickly and accurately tag your images with keywords that can provide you ease of search. Additionally, you can provide a robust keyword list for a potential stock photo file. If your software can’t manage keywords, you are missing out on a valuable tool in the use and marketing of your images.
Quick Keys to keywording:
- Develop or download a workable keyword list(s)
- Keyword your images religiously on import
- Don’t limit yourself to a keyword or two per image
- Periodically review your list and consolidate where possible
Do this and you will be able to find and hopefully sell your images.
Rikk Flohr © 2009