SEO keywords for photographers – my learning curve

I normally put in quite a bit of effort in the SEO keywording of my images, but submitting a recent photo to Getty Images, I realized I still have much to learn about professional keywording.

Using keywords helps my clients find the images they are looking for on my website, and also helps  my own searching for images on my network.

Adding keywords to my images is an integral part of processing my images in Adobe Lightroom.

Starting out a few years ago, I tried to populate my keywords off the top of head, but soon realized I was missing a lot of possible words.

KeyWord Lists

After reading about controlled vocabulary software in 2008 from David Rieick’s website controlledvocabulary.com , I purchased a copy of his CVKC keyword list with 11,000 keywords. (See my previous posts Lightroom2 keywording and CVKC for Bridge and Lightroom.

This has been a big help as the keyword list was designed in a nested hierarchical structure.

adobe lightroom keyword structureKeywords structure in Adobe Lightroom

When I search for a keyword, it also displays all the keywords further up the hieracy that are associated with my search entry.

In my underwater photography, I have been entering the fish species manually and populating my own list of marine life keywords. This has had limited success, having to spend signifcant time searching books and the internet to find the correct name and any associated keywords.

I recently come across the Marine Keywords list developed by Marty Snyderman, Barry Guimbellot and Eric Cheng.  It contains keywords for over 12,000 species of marine life and includes not only common names, but also genus and species names, and full taxonomic structure.

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