Keywording your own images

posted on 27th of may, 2010

I am here on Dreamstime for almost three years. I very much enjoy the challenge. Getting a picture accepted and making a sale still excites me, although I have a few hundred of each. I am not a professional photographer and I do not live out of what I earn from DT so I am not doing a strict cost performance analysis of all this activity. It is more a hobby that also brings in some money which is nice. Part of this microstock activity is to come up with keywords for your photos. I know many people hate it, some even delegate it to the Keymasters.
My experience with this is the opposite. Coming up with a good set of keywords is also a challenge, a different challenge than taking a good shot but a challenge in its own. It is also educational for me personally. I am using wikipedia to look up information, also using the web to find out the name of a plant, a flower, a wild animal, research a historical building and more. I want to tell everybody that my English writing skills improved since I am doing this. (English is not my first language as you may have guessed by now.)

So my advice to other photographers in similar situation like me:


Do not give up on this good opportunity to improve your language skills, your general knowledge and your web searching skills (which are important for many other activities you may do). Do your own keywording and invest some time to do a quality job. As the author of the photo you have a lot more info to work with than the Keymasters.

Comments (8)

Posted by smartview27 on May 29, 2010
I agree, but sometimes a professional advice is very useful!
Posted by Physi28 on May 28, 2010
I understand the importance of keywording but is a challenge (torture) to me, for example how do I get enough keywords for a picture of a flying Mallard?
thanks for the advices, very usefull!
Posted by Mythja on May 28, 2010
good point. keywording is kind of pain, but useful.
Posted by Mariaam on May 28, 2010
Gavril, I totally agree with you! Good advise!
Posted by Deniskelly on May 28, 2010
I couldn't agree more! Keywording is a challenge and a learning esperience in its own right. I find it helps me to express more concisely what an image means. I often take pictures of things that attract me visually - for example old buildings - but which I know nothing about. Web searching to find out more about a subject has increased my knowledge in many areas that I wouldn't otherwise have reason to investigate. That in itself is worth the effort.
Posted by Melonstone on May 28, 2010
Well said - I enjoy keywording my images and like you use the web to research subjects I don't know much about, so I get some education as well as enjoyment!

Keywording sometimes helps me identify those images that I really should not submit as they do not have sufficient stock potential. If I can't identify what someone would use the shot for, it's unlikey potential buyers will be interested in it!
Posted by Laozhang on May 28, 2010
Thank you for your suggestion.
Posted by Mani33 on May 27, 2010
Good advise! I agree with you but it depends on the time you can spend on uploading! Good luck :)

Comments (8)

This article has been read 1026 times. 1 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Gavril Margittai.

About me

San Jose, US

Blogs Exclusive user
November (1)
October (1)

Stock Photography that BLOGS!

Interact, make friends, share tips and techniques, have fun. Dreamstime wants your ideas and thoughts whether you are a photographer, designer or regular user. Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite images and photographers, post tutorials or simply exchange opinions with your with fellow dreamstimers.

Don't forget words and pictures go great together so make sure you choose some Dreamstime favorite pics to brighten your article. For inspiration, check out the hottest or the most useful blogs on the left.

Create a blog to tell your story, promote favorite stock images and photographers

Create your blog

My favorite articles


More favorite articles

Related image searches

self English web search

Self related stock images