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Jill Morgan

Would love some feedback on my keywording

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I would love if some of you guys could give me some help on my keywording. Figured I would ask before the portfolio gets too large. Just sitting at 21 images at the moment (would have been larger except for the 24 Hours hiccup where most of my uploads had errors). I see all the categories and am stumped to come up with enough words, yet figure there must be things I am not thinking of.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Jill

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Keywording is a lifelong pursuit. No easy ways. It will take some time to get the hang of it - and you will revert many times to add or change keywords and move to and from each category.

 

First of all forget about the comma separation - no need for that, it takes up extra characters... And no need for the capital letter in the keywords. (Sorry, I see now that the system adds the commas - I don't think it always has - or I have just not noticed).

 

It may be easier to give at least some advice if you show an example - and how you have keyworded the image.

 

Good luck..

Edited by Niels Quist

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Here is a sample:

 

DBB7J9.jpg

 

Caption:

 

Young African elephant with trunk raised in Terengire National Park, Tanzania Africa

 

Essential Keywords:

 

African Elephant, tusks, Terengire, pachyderm,

 

Main Keywords:

 

Happy elephant, Tanzania, African Landscape

 

Comprehensive Keywords:

 

elephant trunk

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Nice photo.  I'm fairly new here but I've learned from the wise folks on these forums that keywords are so important and I think you could use a lot more to help customers find your images.

 

For example, in the main key words, you could add the following (among others): young elephants closeup trunk eating Africa savannah grassland safari wildlife animals

 

No commas are needed.  You need to include the plurals of words as well as singular.

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There are more experienced folk on here than me.

 

Off the top of my head, and not in any particular order, I'd add plurals (there's two elephants), colours/colors, habitat (grass, trees, bushes), activity (it's eating grass), Linnaean classification (at least the Loxodonta genus if you don't know the species; in Africa, it'll either be africana or cyclotis), and visible body parts.

 

When I keyword wildlife, I typically (but not always) put the Linnean classification along with the usual name in Essential. Others may disagree.

 

Others may well disagree with my suggestions above too.

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OK, I'm not an expert here by any stretch of the imagination, but I'd add things like:

 

young, juvenile, wildlife, animal, portrait, mammal, grass

 

also add plurals (elephants, etc.)

and to broaden the sales area:

 

active, activity, adventure, holiday, vacation, etc.  Try to think laterally about all the various markets where it might sell.

 

Then type in 'african elephant' into the search engine and let it give you some suggestions.

 

Try to get your image returned on more extensive search terms as well as buried at the bottom of a huge heap for a simple search term.  A search for  'african elephant trunk raised', which suits your image, reduces the results returned from 26,587 (for 'african elephant') to 129.

 

Good luck.

  • Upvote 1

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tanzania tanzanian africa african (and so on)

 

 

try to search in "Alamy Measures" - "All of Alamy" with this search term:

 

%elephant

 

- and see customers' use of keywords in their searches. May give you some ideas as well.

Edited by Niels Quist

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Was the animal a young male or female? It seems to be sniffing the air because it sensed a predator or something ominous in the area. You were there, so you would know if it was trumpeting. I don't know if you did, but always include the Latin name of any animal. 

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Was the animal a young male or female? It seems to be sniffing the air because it sensed a predator or something ominous in the area. You were there, so you would know if it was trumpeting. I don't know if you did, but always include the Latin name of any animal.

I didn't notice whether it was male or female. There were no bulls in the herd, but the young ones were both sexes. (S)he is sniffing the air. The elephants were only about 10' from our truck. I didn't have a telephoto lens with me, so I lucked out with these guys.

 

I never thought of using plurals and singular, so thanks for that. Going to go over all my photos and rethink all the keywords.

Edited by Jill Morgan

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I'm surprised that we have suggestions for holiday and vacation, which I think would just lead to search errors, but no-one has suggested the first two words which came to my mind - wildlife safari - that's surely the main search term along with the park and country. Fortunately the term 'big game' isn't much used now... also, including 'African' twice in keyword fields but omitting 'Africa' needs correction. And I'm not entirely sure that 'landscape' does as much good as terms like 'bush' or the (some incorrect) savannah, veldt, scrub, prairie, plains (there is usually at least one scientific word and one vernacular word for any given type of countryside environment).

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Keywording truly is a black art, and it's easy to miss the genuinely useful words... and cram the boxes with irrelevant words instead. You have to take your 'photographer' head off, and become a pic researcher instead...

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I obviously am not thinking deep or detailed enough. Getting to understand the customer base, which of course is commercial as opposed to creative, is where I have to put my keywording brain.

 

I really do have the most trouble with the landscape pictures. And all the suggestions have me rrethinking it all. I would think in more general terms as opposed to every detail that a customer might require and add to their search, as they don't want 20,000 results.

 

You guys are really helpful.

 

Jill

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Hi Jill,

 

Bet you had a great time in Tanzania - I've visited 10 African game parks during a 7 month trans Africa trek many years ago and although all were fabulous, I was most excited by Serengeti (where our vehicle got stuck in the mud umpteen times) and the crater.

 

Love your elephant picture!

 

Really good idea to ask on the forum; as has been said, there's no exact right and wrong in this keywording malarky, so each person does it a little differently.

The idea here is to make sure your images appear when they are appropriate for a client and to try and make sure they don't when it isn't - if you see what I mean. ;-)

Alamy came up with the brilliant idea of hurting a photographer's ranking if they keyword spam; that is, if they add inappropriate keywords. Keywording spamming is now counter-productive. Deciding what is or isn't a helpful keyword is the "black" art.

 

I'm no expert but this is what I think (many people will disagree and have other, just as valid, thoughts).

 

Put the really "big" keywords in essential. Put the rest in main. If that box gets full (and it probably won't) then go to comprehensive. Only bother with description if you want to explain something - it's not searchable. If you have to explain an image then it possibly hasn't worked. ;-)

 

You sometimes have other words between "Ngorongoro" and "crater" - make sure they are always together, it can be important and carry more weight in a search.

 

If you have to point out that an elephant is hidden under a tree - then the picture must be about hidden elephants! Perhaps same with zebra with wound over its eye.

Research the type of zebra, include it as a keyword.

 

DBMRHD if you include hippo, you are competing with other photographer's hippo shots - if you are not "zoomed" but "viewed" - it hurts ranking.

DBMRRC can't see any game on this "game drive"  see CEKH3C - that's a safari game drive   

DBMWHE "baking" - try and put in English English as well i.e. "basking"

DBB7AF - trunk might also be an "essential" keyword

 

 

Hope that gives you food for thought.

Paul

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I'm surprised that we have suggestions for holiday and vacation, which I think would just lead to search errors, but no-one has suggested the first two words which came to my mind - wildlife safari - that's surely the main search term along with the park and country. Fortunately the term 'big game' isn't much used now... also, including 'African' twice in keyword fields but omitting 'Africa' needs correction. And I'm not entirely sure that 'landscape' does as much good as terms like 'bush' or the (some incorrect) savannah, veldt, scrub, prairie, plains (there is usually at least one scientific word and one vernacular word for any given type of countryside environment).

 

I'm not alone in my thoughts - (e.g. wildlife holiday; 35,460 results) - though I'm sure that I'm also not alone in keywording errors and am fully prepared to accept that this may be a bad move!  Perhaps this term would more properly involve some kind of human involvement in the image or a hotel or something?  Or maybe not at all as a search for the term on All of Alamy returns nothing for the past year.

 

David has many years of experience here, Jill, and his advice is probably more worth listening to than mine!

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Thanks so much for all the help. Have been doing some searching through All of Alamy to see what people are searching in relation to the main subject in my photos. Hopefully in the next couple of days (I'm prepping for a trade show, so time is tight) I can go through them all and add, remove and correct all my images.

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keywording is an art.  Saw the notification of special deal for company that does keywording has anyone used them?  are they good and worth the run?

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