Keywords : all rights reserved, black and white, candid, cold, elderly, freezing, London, man, pensioner, photo, snow, snowman, street photography, vertical, winter.
To make money from stock photography, you need to get three things right:
Establish what picture buyers want.
Take good pictures that meet their needs and
Make sure people can find them.
Today I want to focus on the third element – how to improve the chance of a buyer finding your images – by using metadata.
What are metadata? They’re defined as ‘information or data about other data’. In the case of a photo, we’re talking about information describing the photo – who took it, when, where and what it’s about.
Think of a car. Underneath the bonnet or hood, there’s an engine that powers the car. Metadata are like that car engine – they power the picture search. Try going online and type in the description of a photo that you’d like to find. For example, if you enter the keywords ‘elephant’, ‘snow’ and ‘black and white’, one of the first images that comes up is this one, which I took a few years ago:
In my post ‘Stock photography : the importance of keywords’ I discuss keywording in some detail. But how do you add keywords to your pictures and what other information can be included? You need to open your pictures using photo editing software, for example Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. Personally I use Photoshop Elements for this purpose. Now follow the menu (in Elements go to ‘file information’). You can then give your photo a title, include copyright information and add keywords.
Adding metadata to your photos can be a chore – but believe me, it’s worth it. If you intend to submit your pictures to a stock library, it’s compulsory. And nothing beats the thrill of selling an image to a customer who’s found you online.