My Formula for FAST Keywording


posted on 10th of march, 2013

Hi everyone,
I thought I would share with you a formula that I have come up with that may help some who are struggling with keywording. When I first started with Dreamstime I found keywording to be quite a chore and seemed to take forever. But I then realized what I was doing wrong. I had no order to my keywording of my photographs, I was just typing in words as they came into my head and often ended up typing in the same word three times by the time I had finished. Wow, what a waste of time and brain space! So over time I have developed my own formula for keywording which certainly works for me and has cut down my keywording time substantially. So, here is my formula. To make it easier to illustrate, I will use an example of a photograph of a MATURE MAN SITTING ALONE ON THE BEACH.

1. SIMPLE PLAIN FACT WORDS: First I look at my main subject and only use very simple plain fact words, no descriptive words here at all people, just the main points of the subject. Like -MAN, MALE, PERSON, TOURIST

2. DESCRIPTIVE WORDS: Then I describe the subject of my photograph,in this case the man sitting on the beach. Such as: SENIOR, MATURE, MIDDLE-AGED, CAUCASIAN, ITALIAN, OLD, OLDER, HANDSOME, ATTRACTIVE, HAPPY, STYLISH, MODERN, TALL, SHORT, AUSTRALIAN, FIT, HEALTHY, etc.

3. ACTION WORDS. These words describe what your subject is DOING in the photograph, such as: SITTING, RELAXING, ENJOYING, SMILING, LAUGHING, HAVING, FUN, LAZY, RESTING, DREAMING, WATCHING, HOLIDAYING, VACATION, ALONE, etc.

4. LOCATION WORDS: Where is your subject? These are the words that DESCRIBE the LOCATION or scene of the subject. In this case: SANDY, EMPTY, BEACH, SEASIDE, OCEAN, OUTDOORS, NATURE, SHORE, WAVES, SURF, SAND, SAND, SCENIC, LANDSCAPE, SEASCAPE, TROPICS, TROPICAL, ISLAND, SUMMER, DAY, OUTSIDE, PERFECT, CLEAR, BLUE, SKY, PUFFY, CLOUDS, AUSTRALIA, etc

5. MOOD & COLOR WORDS: Now look at your photo for your mood and colors in the WHOLE shot. Such as: PEACE, PEACEFUL, TRANQUIL, TRANQUILITY, SOLITUDE, DREAMY, LONELY, SAD, THOUGHTFUL, BEAUTIFUL, NATURAL, BEAUTY, LONELINESS, etc.

6. FINALLY, PRACTICAL USE AND COLOR WORDS. By this I mean if the photograph or illustatration could have an abstract , conceptual,business or background use. So use words such as: TRAVEL, ABSTRACT, COLOR, COLORS, BACKGROUND, RELIGION, TOURISM, BLUE, WHITE, GREEN, GREY, BRIGHT, LIGHT, MOOD, ACTIVITY, etc

When I use this formula, I find that I do my keywording in a fraction of the time it was taking me at the beginning and I don't get sidetracked or repeat words. It takes a bit of practise and discipline to maintain this formula and order but well worth it, in my humble opinion.
Now if someone doing a search and using a combination of words such as 'MAN SITTING ALONE ON BEACH' or 'SOLITUDE', or 'SAD MAN ALONE' or 'MATURE MAN ON HOLIDAY' or SENIOR MAN ON TROPICAL ISLAND' or 'DREAMY VACATION' I have all those words covered withouht having to strain my brain by thinking what people will search for to find my image. I have covered all areas by doing an order of 1.SIMPLE SUBJECT FACTS. 2.DESCRIPTIVE WORDS OF MAIN SUBJECT. 3.ACTIVE WORDS (What subject is doing). 4.LOCATION WORDS (where is the subject). 5.MOOD & COLOR WORDS. 6. PRACTICAL USE WORDS.

Well, I hope this blog helps someone out, as I know keywording was a real nightmare and a time consumer for me but now using this formula, I am finding it not only faster and easier but also more successful, as I seem to cover more words that really do apply to this image, instead of using words that don't even relate to the image in any way.

cheers
Suzie

Comments (44)

Posted by Robsonphoto2011 on September 10, 2014
Tnx for sharing!
Posted by Cousy86 on April 10, 2013
Very useful information,thanks a lot for graet post!)))))
Posted by Fredbro on March 31, 2013
Thanks for your great blogpost. I just love lists in point-form. It makes it clear and simple. I will print it and try to use your technique next time I submit images.
Posted by Bluwarrior on March 31, 2013
Thank you for sharing your formula (seems a good and complete one). Personally I find daunting key wording certain subjects(like some objects or abstract concepts). I tend to simplify it..
Posted by Physi28 on March 29, 2013
very useful comments, thanks!
I also use another trick: when a whole bunch of photos have been shot in a certain place and there all let me say wildlife pics, I can make a group of keywords like for example: Spain, Spanish, Europe , European, nature, natural, wild, wildlife etc etc and just copy and paste them on every pic I am key wording.
This also saved me lot of time, hope it helps too.
Posted by Edjbartos on March 26, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to share with us, very useful indeed.
Posted by Edjbartos on March 26, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to share with us, very useful indeed.
Posted by Yelo34 on March 25, 2013
Very useful blog! It gives me a different perspective to what I do. I think if I combine the two methods my keywording will improve. Thanks for sharing
Posted by Brettossman on March 24, 2013
Like the categories. I'm going to use these categroies in my Photoshop Elements keywords list. FYI, I use this list to add keywords in Photoshop, then Save Metadata to File. That way, my keywords are in my uploaded file. I still have my photos Keymastered in addition. For the price, it's worth it.
Posted by Hel080808 on March 23, 2013
Thank you so much for sharing ├Żour ideas with us!
Posted by Wordplanet on March 20, 2013
Good keywording makes such a difference - good topic!
I sometimes study the keywords used when people license my photos to get a sense of which are most important and have realized that for most images it's really the obvious ones that sell them.
I used to put in all the keywords I could think of which were relevant, but have started using fewer and trying to keep it to 50 or less, and this seems to have actually improved my sales. Great idea to start from the broad to the narrow. Using LR helps to prevent duplicates too, but I think your way helps to make sure you cover all bases and include both nouns and verbs - concrete things and concepts. Those concept words are really important!
Great article. Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Pawelsierakowski on March 20, 2013
I sincerely recommend SHOT KEYWORD company. I'm with those who do not like keywording .. I prefer to give that work into the hands of professionals and not wasting my time ..
Posted by Gheburaseye on March 19, 2013
********y useful post! thank You!
Posted by Tedtompkins on March 18, 2013
For a foreigner the trouble doubles. That's a very good chart to follow. Yet I will keep buying the keywording from Dreamstime, looking for high selling photos and their tags, and get some extra hint from Google adwords. In such a way if I will not sell - and l do - it is only due to the poor quality of my works. ;-) ty
Posted by Eclecticelegance on March 17, 2013
Ooh, I like this list! Thanks for sharing! :-)
Posted by Onime on March 17, 2013
"good keywording make great sale"
Posted by Lenutaidi on March 16, 2013
Thank you for sharing,Suzie!I like your formula!:)
Posted by Fotocodst on March 14, 2013
Thank you, Suzie. Very useful.. :)
Posted by Infokus408 on March 13, 2013
great tips! thanks for sharing.
Posted by Gambillt5 on March 13, 2013
Thank you ! I am a newbie and this advice is very helpful to me.
Posted by Dawnmercer on March 13, 2013
Very helpful .... great idea ... thank you :)
Posted by FabioConcetta on March 13, 2013
Great!Thankyou for sharing!
Posted by smartview27 on March 12, 2013
Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Juliecwagner on March 12, 2013
Thanks! I'll try it! :)
Posted by Leobruce on March 12, 2013
Very useful Suzie . . . thanks
Posted by Parkinsonsniper on March 12, 2013
Thanks, you created a step by step keywording technique. I sometimes use keywording tool of Arcurs'. It helps a lot too. Still, I always add my own words to make sure the coverage is at maximum.
Posted by Harshvardhan on March 12, 2013
Thank you so much! Its so simple and so effective and it is like gold mine underneath our feet but we could not realise it. Thanks for digging it for all of us...all are grateful for this! Wishing you good luck for future sales... keep rising and keep enlightening !
Posted by Laqhill on March 11, 2013
I'm saving this post, thank you very much. I'll do it your way makes sense to me.
Posted by Laurasinelle on March 11, 2013
Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Leakeem on March 11, 2013
great tips! Thank you for sharing!

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Comments (44)

This article has been read 2158 times. 22 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Lifeontheside, Marekusz, Richard Thomas, Tim Hester.

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