Value of Keywording

posted on 8th of march, 2009

Keywording may be the bain of Microstock photography. Photographers enjoy taking the pictures, uploading to sites may be lengthy, however using FTP can help expedite the process, but keywording is just brain taxing hardwork! The intent of this article, though, is to show, if you take the time to keyword properly, it WILL pay of in increased exposure and sales in the end!

Here's an example:

Photo #1

vs. Photo #2

Both images show a child playing with dogs on the beach. The photos have many similarities: both show a young child tossing a toy, both shots have two dogs, each child's toy has left his/her hand. Photo #2 improves on the concept and composition by having the child and animals facing the camera. However, Photo#1 has 9 downloads and 214 views compared to Photo #2 with 0 downloads and 6 views. (at the time this blog was written) What's the difference, you ask? Photo #2 only has 17 keywords. Photo #1 has 70! Photo #2 has left out some VERY important descriptive keywords like: water, wet, summertime, kid, pet, playing, animals, toss, ocean, seashore, youth, youngster

Here's another example:

Photo #1 vs. Photo #2

Again, both images are quite similar. Photo #1 is a close up shot of a young cauasian female with freckles and long light brown hair. Photo #2 is a close up photograph of the same type of model. Photo #2 also may have the upper hand as the composition is a slightly more interesting close up with stronger focus on the eyes. However, Photo #1 has 1451 views and 13 downloads compared to Photo #2's 6 views (at the time this blog was written) and 0 downloads. Again, part of this images success can be attributed to good keywording. Photo #1 has 37 keywords, while Photo #2 only has 10. Some descriptive words missing from Photo #2 are: freckles, kid, caucasian, straw, schoolgirl, youngster and brunette.


Keywording may be many photographers least favorite part of the Microstock process, but they DO play an important role in views and downloads. So, go back through your portfolio and improve your keywords. I guarentee you will see results!!!

Comments (11)

Comment by Sgcallaway1994 on March 14, 2009