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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Importance of Effective Keywording

Uploading your photos on to a photo stock agency is often quite easy...
With a few mouse clicks your photos are available to be bought through that site by brands and creatives. However you have to make sure that your photos don't get lost in the multitude uploaded photos by using correct keywords. Intentional visibility will help your photos get the attention that they need in order to sell. 
The biggest misconception about key words is that "more is better". The truth is, however, that less is more when it comes to keywords. You must ensure that every keyword used is relevant to what your image portrays. When choosing keywords, ask yourself: "If I were searching for this kind of photo, what keywords would I use to find it?"
Here is a guide to picking relevant keywords for your images:
Focus on Adjectives, Nouns, and Verbs
What are the main objects or subjects in your photo? What do they look like? What are they doing? The keywords chosen at this stage will help you identify what is present in your photo. 
Larger Concepts Portrayed
What does your photo represent beyond the surface level? Buyers very often purchase images in order to portray an idea, a feeling, and a way of life. If you include keywords that tell a story, your photos will be more relevant to buyers. 
Location Is Important
Purchasers often look for specific locations (a country, city, or specific site). If you include the photo's location in the keywords it will increase the chances of your photo being found and therefore sold. If you, for example, use the keyword "China" your photo will have to be sifted through perhaps hundreds of images. But if you also add the keyword "Beijing" it may only have to compete with a couple of dozen images. By being location specific in your keywords you make "the net tighter", so to speak, allowing your photo to be more easily found. 
Let's use the photo below as an example:
What keywords should be used in line with the guidelines above?
Adjective: barefoot, green, purple, red, dry
Nouns: traveler, nomad, woman, person, rocks, desert, road, route, hat
Verbs: wandering, exploring, walking
Concepts: journey, freedom, time off, wanderlust, leisure, landscape, scenery, travel, solo
Location: United States, America, American state, United States of America, Death Valley, Utah

As a successful photographer you must 'feel' and get into the head of a buyer when shooting, selecting, and keywording your photos. Taking great shots is only the first step. Choosing correct and precise keywords for your photos will drastically increase their visibility. And sales!

Photo credit: Gitte Kama (https://www.snapwi.re/photo/detail/574bf5d8572d110f2b0d3d60)

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