I will continue with providing tips and examples from my hands-on experience with your images. Beware, here I come, I have my grades prepared and they rank from one to ten. I will proceed as announced also adding other experiences I came across in my ramblings through the site. Today – I feel over-teacherly here :P – we are going to discuss about: why does my image and the keywords attached have very little in common? Pay attention as this has serious consequences for your portfolios and accounts. Unfortunately for you.......the following cases are considered serious offenses and punished accordingly.
Most common mistake – abuse the auto-populate function
. Well, here I've seen some very paradoxical cases. We all love copy paste....and Dreamstime makes it even easier......no more than one small click and there you go, problem solved, keywords added, title added, description added. You can enjoy your coffee, do the laundry, go shopping, play with your dog while your 50 image series gets keyworded by itself. Sounds better than any advertisement for washing machines: turn, pour detergent, hit start and........go mind your own business. If only things were that easy....I have to sort my clothes otherwise they will all end up pink or green or grey or yeyyy, spotted – not that this has never happened.
Listen to my advice if you do not want your images to end up pink or spotted when they should have been white and plain. Edit images, remove irrelevant words – maybe the model smiles whereas in the previous image she cried, or maybe she is backwards to the camera whereas before she was staring straight into it. In other words, ab-use autopopulate with care....otherwise you won't be able to wear your t-shirt out in public :P. It will look hilariously spotted. Ellen talks about this in her articles as well!!!! Not about doing the laundry but about using the autopopulate with care. Read it please and you will look smashingly trendy and most importantly, clean :). Or at least your images.
Common mistake – bad thief caught red-handed
. Nobody loves it, nobody says it, we surely do not encourage it but most of us do it. Shhhhh, it's a hush hush thing. It works about the same way as the autopopulate function. We see an image. Wonderful, and look, even better, it is wonderfully keyworded. And guess what.....ain't that lucky or what?...I have one that is absolutely similar. Dilemma: should I copy the keywords? Copy paste? I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it, besides, it is immoral and illegal. Do not really know what happens between the beginning and the end but the point is that in the end the images are online. Suddenly, when someone finds your image has the unpleasant shock of finding many irrelevant keywords.......I have once found seven different users, with seven different images on the same topic more or less and with the same set of keywords. I could not track down the originating genius who came up with the keywords in the first place unfortunately. I would have truly liked to send him/her my best regards for being such an inspiration to so many others.
I refrain from providing a clear example. I fear those in question will not have as much fun as I have when finding that out.
Why should you stop doing this? Well, not to sound depressing but if Dreamstime editors find you, they are nice enough to give you one warning...After that, they suspend your account and bye bye sales up until you revise your portfolio image for image. Does this sound like torture? While you get lucky to get away with some irrelevant keywords – I know tens who do – those caught seriously spamming and cheating are “kindly” asked to review every tiny bitzy detail. Our patience never runs out...ha ha (evil laughter).
When I wanted to learn about keywording I spent hours and hours looking at all sort of images. I do not expect you to do that although it is an interesting exercise and it gives you a unique, advanced insight into the matter. I found out that there are people who have a very good way with words and who obviously use advanced dictionaries and have a lot of keywords, most of them relevant and objective, to which of course they added subjective ones. I was envious I admit – especially on some I know to find tons of relevant keywords.
I suppose the vast majority of my knowledge in this came with looking at other users' images and keywording. I have come up with one fundamental conclusion. Two similar images will most likely never be 100 % that similar for you to keep the same set of keywords.
So, even if you choose to let yourselves inspired by someone wiser and more knowledgeable, remember that there is a huge difference between getting inspired and copying. The first is understandable the second is unforgivable. Dreamstime leaves keywords visible and available, meaning that we expect people to get inspired. This is the point sometimes. Contributors come from various corners of the world. Some may master English language, others may know it pretty well while there's a handful of others who barely know it. Community based is exactly what is says. Consider that keywords are visible to help each other and not only to add transparency. Therefore, if someone has its keywords visible, copying them word for word would only mean abusing their trust and confidence that we all share and help not steal and cheat.
Few photographers mind about the topic but imagine that we have lots of buyers complaining about this! Not to mention that we may occasionally come across your portfolio and ....you know what may happen :P :). And this is not a threat, nor does it sound like one ;). And remember, we're watching :).