Stock photography : the importance of keywords

Two_elephants_walking_in_the_snowLast month I encouraged you to think like a picture buyer when reviewing your photos. Here’s a link to the original post – Stock photography : thinking outside the box.

I explained how my photograph of a snow-covered bear might be used to illustrate an article on loneliness, homelessness or abandonment. But unless the picture buyer knows about the photo, they can’t buy it.

That’s where keywording becomes important. A good picture researcher will look for the image they need in several ways – approaching picture libraries, photographers with specialist collections and searching on the internet. And if you’re just starting to market your stock of photos, you need to make friends with the internet. By adding keywords to your images before publishing them online, you maximise the chance of buyers finding them.

Let’s take ‘Elephants in the snow’ as an example, listing the keywords that I’ve used: all rights reserved; Asian elephants; black and white; elephants; image; monochrome; montage; pair; photo; photograph; portrait; snow; together; trees; two; vertical; walking; winter; woodland; young.

I could have added ‘appealing’ and ‘cute’ but I didn’t want to stuff the image with too many keywords. Buyers get frustrated if their search produces too many irrelevant images.

‘Elephants in the snow’ was bought after an internet search. A company with ‘elephant’ in its name wanted to send Christmas cards to its customers and looked online for images with the keywords ‘elephant’ and ‘snow’ – which is how I received an email enquiry out of the blue.

In a future post, I’ll be talking about other useful information that can be bundled with your photos before you post them online (especially copyright details).

In the meantime, if you have any enquiries or want to share hints and tips, please leave a comment.




4 Responses to “Stock photography : the importance of keywords”
  1. Ryce Chisenga says:
    • Richard Alton says:
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