Friday, February 23, 2007

The five basic points to successfully keywording stock images.

Ok , you’ve just taken what you feel will be the greatest picture that the world has ever seen. The problem is how are you going to get the world to see it? In this digital age the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousands words,” proves to more true than we could have ever imagined. While a thousand words is a pretty lofty goal when keywording an image, it is good to remember that each additional word that you can use to describe a picture will add exponentially to the likelihood that someone will be able to find that photo. Thus it has become paramount that we are able to ascribe as many words as possible to a given image. When attempting to find your thousand words there are five basic points to remember and consider.

1. Address the basics of the image; what, when, and where. For instance, are there people in the picture, and if so how many? Are they men or women or are there both? Where was the photograph taken? What time of year was it when the image was captured?

2. Describe the image - how would you sum it up in a sentence. Imagine that you are describing the image to someone who can’t see or you are trying to describe it over the phone.

3. What feelings are invoked by the image, does it portray any concepts. Does it give you a sense of solitude, does it make you feel cold, does the image make you feel festive?

4. Put yourself in the place of the person searching for the image. If you were looking for an image like this one, what words would you use to search for it.

5. Check your spelling and check accuracy. For instance very few people will ever see your wonderful image of a Caribou if the keyword that you have assigned to the image is: cariboow. Is the symbol in the photograph a pictograph or is it really a petroglyph. If you can, have someone else check what you have done, it never hurts to get a fresh set of eyes to look over your work.

- Jim

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