Key-Wording - Too Much? Or Just Enough?

First year pelican attempting a water landing

First year pelican attempting a water landing

Admit it, we all hate it and are usually behind the curve playing catch-up - Key-wording.   Most of us do too little of it (2013-pelican) and some of us do way too much (2013-pelican-white-water-wings-splash-action-young-juvenile-landing-summer-june-river-dam) which is what usually pegs our frustration level and actually keeps us from doing it more regularly.

Well, just like Goldilox found, is there a solution that is "just right?  Here's a way to help you figure out what "just right" really is for you.  


Think of Future Use

The main purpose of key-words is to find something later when you need it.  At some point you'll have a particular use for a certain type of image.  So let's think about what those potential "use cases" are for your type of photography and then just add the key-words you think you'll need.

For my needs, it usually revolves around a particular subject in a particular location or action.  A sample use case for me would be something like this:

I need a young  "xxxxxxx" that is in "xxxxxx" splashing around.

So based on the need above, my keywords should identify the type of animal, whether it's a juvy or an adult, what type of environment it's in and is there any unique action going on. 

  • white pelican
  • juvenile
  • water
  • action

Now this is what works for me, your list could very well be a bit longer depending on what your needs are.  If I don't have a need to know that the pelican was actually on a river - I won't keyword it. 

But isn't it better to "over do" it on key-words just in case, it can't hurt, right?  Well for some of us it could.  If the task of extremely detailed key-wording is so overwhelming, we may tend to avoid it and put it off - resulting in a mountain of backlog and the lack of ability to find even the most basic of use cases without sending out a hunting party for your image. 

You'll usually think of new needs as time goes on, just update your use cases. 

Stay in focus,