34 thoughts on “A Few Key Words About Keywords

  1. A good post Jeff, especially for those who are selling their work. I just blog purely for fun with my photo blog. I need to get off my backside and try and promote my books more!

    • Nothing wrong with that at all Jude. But, even if you’re not actively trying to sell your photos, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone contact you looking to purchase one because your photo came up in a search and was exactly what they were looking for?

    • Good question. I often do, but upon thinking about it I probably shouldn’t. The reason I do when I do is that, as I’m sure you’ve seen when uploading your own photos, the file name appears in the Title box in the uploader. The file name isn’t the images title though. I’m going to have to look into whether or not changing it removes or alters the original file name. Pending further digging I think I’m going to stop changing it, just in case 😉

        • Well I wish you luck with that. My advice, put some serious thought into it. I’ve gone through several “methods” of organizing my catalog before finally settling on my current method. Now I keyword the heck out of everything upon import into Lightroom, than it is simply organized by date.

          They would always be imported initially by date, then I used to break it down more. For example, I’d create a Landscape folder, then in that folder I’d create a Waterfalls folder, a Seacoast folder, etc. It added extra work, and I never was very good at sticking to it. Now, if I want to find an image I just search using keywords. Or if I know the date I shot something I can just go right to that date folder.

          • I hear what you are saying. My problem, every time I think about it another “solution” occurs to me. I am also trying to think of something I would stick with, so I hear you on that point as well. Right now I am key wording when I import. Also, I label my projects with something descriptive and put the date on it. I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who has gone through a few “methods”
            Cheers!

            • That is the same problem I had, until I decided to got the “lazy mans route.” Thorough key-wording and simply leaving them in the date folder they originally end up in seemed the simplest solution, for me anyway. For an event, portrait, wedding photographer, my “system” would not work very well at all.

                • I just took the lazy way out 😉 Keywords, I was already doing that. I import into Lightroom into dated folders based on shooting date, so it suddenly came to me, why am I killing myself trying to set up named folders when keywords and dates is more than enough for my needs. When I was doing it that way before, half my images never made it out of the dated folders anyway.

    • You’re very welcome Edith. It is something those of us trying to sell our images really need to think about. But those of us who aren’t doing this full time often give little thought to it.

  2. Thanks for the tip, I have certainly been slacking in this department. If you tried to find any of my pictures by the file name alone, you’d be better off setting fire to the computer and taking new photos! You have inspired me to take some time this weekend and sort through my many unnamed photos. 🙂

    • Certainly a daunting task, no doubt about it. But the potential rewards are huge. The next band that hires you might not be just starting out, but already on top of the charts! And your portraits speak for themselves, but without at least decent, descriptive file names, no one is going to “hear” them.

    • As I mentioned Rick, I’m far from an expert. But I have to assume it would because that unidentifiable string of letters and numbers that is virtually meaningless to Google, is now a descriptive image file name telling Google what the image “looks” like. I’m not sure I would kill an entire weekend renaming all the photos I’ve posted in the past, but a few every time I was already in the process of uploading new images, sure. Soon enough you’ll have changed them all. 😀

    • Thanks! There is definitely more to it than I’ve written about, most of it too technical for my techno-challenged brain, but these basics are the minimum any photographer hoping to be “discovered” should be doing. Once it’s part of your normal workflow it really isn’t all that much work.

    • If you haven’t been doing it even a little, then yes you do have your work cut out for you. Once I started to realize the importance all images from that point on were properly key-worded etc., then I just went back and little by little added them to the images on my website.

      I’m still working on, and not sure I’ll ever finish, the images I’ve shared on the blog over the last 3 years.

  3. Insightful post, Jeff, and this is something I need badly to work on. I’m finally working my imports the way I need to and sorting collections–all Lightroom tools I gaffed off before. My problem now is, how (through Lightroom) can I systematically keyword tag my archives that are untagged? It’s simple upon import, but how do you backtrack to old without tediously working through every image? Any ideas?

    • The only way I know how to do it is to go into grid view (keyboard shortcut “G”) while in the Library module, then select all the images you want to keyword. Then keyword them 🙂 This only words in grid view though, it won’t work if you try to select them from the filmstrip below the image if you are in single image view.

      I hope that helps, now you’ve got your work cut out for you!

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