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Question about keywords for travel photographers


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I have been shooting photos of iconic streets and places of Barcelona in the last couple of weeks and obviously you can't help seeing things that remind you of pandemic and covid-19 outbreak like famous places empty or people wearing surgical masks while walking in the street or seated at cafes. Sometimes they are in the foreground, sometimes distant but yet you can see these are images belonging to the new "normality".

Now, I uploaded already a few pictures of this kind by reporting the new keywords like covid, emergency, pandemic, outbreak along with the usual ones. I have more similar pictures ready for upload and I would like any helpful suggestion from you if it's worth including these new keywords in pictures with famous places empty of without tourists. Do you think clients will buy images with people wearing surgical masks in the next few weeks/months or next year or they prefer this is over and forgotten and buy images of places like they were before pandemic?

What would you do? Would you upload images of the new reality with these new keywords or look for shooting places or locations that not necessarily the views may bring to think of pandemic or covid 19 outbreak?

 

Stefano

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Hi Stefano, that's a really interesting set of questions. I think you can certainly try to document Covid 19 currently. There are a lot of photos in the media about it currently - and a lot of stock photos have been produced, there's a lot of competition... I'm not sure how long this 'new reality' will last. There is the potential for second waves or flare ups, but a lot of countries are currently easing lockdowns. And I think moving forward most people would like to try and forget about this period, bar the odd public enquiry on government mistakes. Once this period is over, only very few 'iconic' coronavirus images will likely be used. No one will want to buy photos once the pandemic is over with face masks in (apart from for stories specifically about Covid-19). I personally can't see any travel blogs, or books, or newspapers wanting masks in pics, in fact I'm sure they'd avoid them where possible. Particularly because they will also date the photos to a specific period in 2020 very quickly. But I'm predicting here and we all know how accurate predictions are!! 🙃

Steve

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Steve F said:

 No one will want to buy photos once the pandemic is over with face masks in (apart from for stories specifically about Covid-19). I personally can't see any travel blogs, or books, or newspapers wanting masks in pics, in fact I'm sure they'd avoid them where possible. Particularly because they will also date the photos to a specific period in 2020 very quickly. But I'm predicting here and we all know how accurate predictions are!! 🙃

Steve

 

 

the pandemic will not end in 2020, so these should not be an issue. in fact i can see a market where people want to see masks to feel reassured .  Many peoples first reaction of images of Vegas now was about the total lack of prevention.

 

 

as for original question,  if it can be use historically to describe the reality under lockdown,  covid19, re-opening, stage X, etc i will have them in KW, but unlikely as super tag.  

Edited by meanderingemu
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Posted (edited)

You can add and remove keywords in AIM according to how things progress and what sort of images you see being used.

 

I would definitely add Covid related tags also the month and year in the caption.

 

The Alamy system allows you   to be flexible and amend your keywords so you do not have to make a permanent decision.

 

 

Edited by geogphotos
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1 hour ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

the pandemic will not end in 2020, so these should not be an issue. in fact i can see a market where people want to see masks to feel reassured .  Many peoples first reaction of images of Vegas now was about the total lack of prevention.

 

 

as for original question,  if it can be use historically to describe the reality under lockdown,  covid19, re-opening, stage X, etc i will have them in KW, but unlikely as super tag.  

Depends which country you're in. New Zealand for example is already Covid 19 free. I personally would see face masks shown in a location as indicating that they still have a problem with Covid 19 there. And different cultures have adopted face masks to wildly different extents - some people might wear them when there isn't much risk, or ignore the risk completely and not wear them at all. I don't think there is an easy answer to Stefano's question... Ian is certainly right that you can go and change your keywords later on and that might be the best bet.

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11 minutes ago, Steve F said:

Depends which country you're in. New Zealand for example is already Covid 19 free. I personally would see face masks shown in a location as indicating that they still have a problem with Covid 19 there. And different cultures have adopted face masks to wildly different extents - some people might wear them when there isn't much risk, or ignore the risk completely and not wear them at all. I don't think there is an easy answer to Stefano's question... Ian is certainly right that you can go and change your keywords later on and that might be the best bet.

 

NZ has no active cases of Covid 19.  Two weeks ago, New Brunswick had 0 cases of Covid19, so by your definition.  Today they have about 20.  

 

I think there will be interesting marketing in tourism industry over the next 24 months and i find it hard to guess.  For example, i would not go to a country that currently would take me without a quarantine, since i come from a major exposure centre.  In fact Greece gets major plus in my book for their early opening based on Covid results, not politics. 

 

so i will try and have as many options as possible for customers, and will not reject images because they look too much 2020.

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The tourist industry relies on idealised images, not realism. Trust me, I did a whole lot of photgraphy for travel agencies. But, of course we are where we are for now and masks and distancing are highly relevant for some time to come. I have always worked towards long lasting images which is directly opposed to the Live News way of doing things. At Alamy, you can do both.

 

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Thank you guys for your useful suggestions and ideas about my question. I thought it would be nice nice to have a talk here before proceeding with my decision. I am afraid pandemic will be next to us for some time in the near future, enough to be part of the photo stock market unfortunately. 

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11 hours ago, geogphotos said:

You can add and remove keywords in AIM according to how things progress and what sort of images you see being used.

 

I would definitely add Covid related tags also the month and year in the caption.

 

The Alamy system allows you   to be flexible and amend your keywords so you do not have to make a permanent decision.

 

 

 

You mean report covid and similar tags in the description of the photo, like for example "People wearing surgical masks walking on Rambla street in Barcelona, Spain during covid 19 pandemic in 2019"?

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4 minutes ago, stipe said:

 

You mean report covid and similar tags in the description of the photo, like for example "People wearing surgical masks walking on Rambla street in Barcelona, Spain during covid 19 pandemic in 2019"?

 

Thats what I would do as well. If I had been out at the time!

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, stipe said:

 

You mean report covid and similar tags in the description of the photo, like for example "People wearing surgical masks walking on Rambla street in Barcelona, Spain during covid 19 pandemic in 2019"?

 

.....probably change the date to 2020 though!

 

John.

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For tourist photos of landmarks where people are not the focus, I try not to show people wearing masks so the image doesn't seem dated. For those landmarks that have changed how they look in response to the pandemic (But may change back to how they would normally look pre-pandemic), I just put a date at the end of the caption more as a courtesy and subtle hint on when the image was taken.  

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