Preparing and enhancing is really just the start when it comes to posting or selling your photos online. Although your pictures may be polished to perfection, without the correct keywords it’s unlikely they’ll ever be found. So, with the image enhancements out of the way, you need to give some serious thought to the dark art of keywording, ensuring that you make the most of the headers, keywords and descriptions that the stock libraries give you. In this Photoshop tutorial we’ll show you the best way to tag photos to increase their visibility online.
While most sites have their own keyword lists that you’ll need to adhere to, it’s a good idea to make sure you have some time‑saving processes in place before you start.
Make sure your camera is updated with your personal information and, as you download each set of images from camera to machine, be organised and apply the relevant keywords.
Then, when it comes to uploading your pictures to a stock library, most of the hard work for your selected images will already have been done. Below we explain how to add all the necessary information to your files, so you can tag photos more efficiently and optimise the chance of a successful sale.
1 In-camera tagging
When you purchase your DSLR it’ll come with a CD that includes the camera’s software drivers and applications. You should be able to add some personal information, such as name, address and phone number, which will always appear in your images’ metadata.
2 Image organisers
Organisers such as Bridge and Elements Organizer enable you to quickly create and apply keywords to your images. After these have been added you can filter your image library to locate the images you want. Bridge also enables you to batch edit more advanced data.
3 Imaging applications
Most image applications enable you to adjust the metadata for your images, either through a side-bar panel named Metadata or through File>File Info. Once selected, you have the option to manually change all types of information about the author, image and other data.
4 Important information
There are four screens that you should ensure are updated within the metadata editing environment. First, the Description, which details author, keywording and copyright information – then extra information can be added to the three IPTC sections: Contact, Image and Content.
5 Author notes
Depending on the destination of the file, it’s worth including email and website information rather than your home address and phone number. It’s a good idea to check the copyright status – once copyright is switched on you should see the symbol appear in the image title bar.
6 Image notes
Depending on the stock library you join, the Content information can save loads of time as you upload images. Some sites will read this directly from the file and automatically paste it into the relevant fields. Try to be as accurate as possible about the description and keywords.