As a professional photographer, one of the parts of my job that I dread the most is keywording. Send me on a 50 mile hike with 90 pounds of gear, just don’t make me keyword! Sadly, if I choose to forgo this loath activity, the odds of my images ever being found in an online database are slim to none. This equals no sales and one very unhappy photographer.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, keywording is something that you use on a daily basis without knowing it. Every time you search Google or another major search engine, you are searching key terms or keywords that describe what you are looking for. To find specific images on the internet, or within a stock photo library like Aurora Photos, the problem is compounded. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is quite true, however, as a photographer I have to boil down those thousand possible descriptive terms to about twenty five key words that capture the essence of the image. Once boiled down, I then type these words into the metadata of the file, embed the metadata into the image and get the images online.
Before yesterday, my keywording process would often involve me staring at the computer screen for a few hours with my mind a complete blank. I would then rally into procrastination mode and read the news, answer all my emails, and daydream about being anywhere but in front of the computer screen keywording. Finally, when I realized I had just wasted a few hours of my life, I would begin the arduous process of convincing my girlfriend to do my keywording for me. On a good day, I (she) could get about 30 done.
This week, a lifeline appeared on the keywording front when Cradoc Software, makers of the much loved FotoBiz, released a product called fotoKeyword Harvester. I purchased it yesterday, learned the program in about 15 minutes, and in less than an hour had 12 images keyworded and ready for upload. Now, for me, that is some sort of all time speed record — not even my girlfriend could get it done that fast. The brilliant idea behind the software is you begin, as the name implies, by harvesting keywords from similar images already online. You then cull the unnecessary keywords out of this list, fine tune the existing keywords from a brilliantly implemented list of controlled vocabulary built into the program, and export the keywords to your clipboard. Once the keywords are in your clipboard they can be pasted into whatever program you are embedding the keywords with. Thank you Cradoc — my girlfriend thanks you too!