The Importance of Naming and Tagging Images So People Can Find You Easily and Increase Traffic!

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I have to let you all know that I have started this little article for everyone who uses Flickr, Pinterest, DeviantArt, stock photography sites, weheartit etc. On to the importance of tagging images…

When you are feeling uninspired do you reach to Flickr, weheartit and Pinterest for inspiration? I certainly do. Now…last week I was feeling very inspired by the colours and florals being used in wedding photography on sites such as once wed. The site I was searching on was Pinterest.

I typed in “Wedding” and four images came up – I’m unsure if its an error that is currently, with Pinterest; as when I search for ‘pins’ and hit the ‘pins’ tab – no further pins appear – nevertheless.. I found 4 images.

I then went on to the browsing people’s boards and I discovered an image of a couple sitting on a swing, in full bridal gear…very easily described. I went to ‘repin’ the image to save it for future reference; when you repin the image all the details show up – title/description and tags.

There were 2 tags and the title description said ‘Ribbon Swing’. It did not contain the keyword “Wedding” and that was a pretty generic search term, I thought.

From my description of the image how would you describe and tag this image?

When you are tagging images ask yourself some questions:

What is in this image?

A Swing
A Couple
A Bride
A Groom
A Wedding Dress
An Outdoor Seat,
A Fence
What are the items made from in this image?

Swing – ribbon
Couple – a man and a woman (could be a same sex couple – be descriptive)
The Bride – Female, obviously (detail like this is obvious so no need to include)
The Groom – Male (obviously again)
A Wedding Dress (Unknown fabric BUT what word could you use to describe it? It’s short!)
The Outdoor seat – unknown material BUT what colour is it?
Can you now add more adjectives? Can you describe the colours?

The swing – Multi Coloured or Multi Colored (depending on where you are from)
Keep in mind that when you are writing tags you need to recognise that Americans and English folks spell words differently. I don’t know why Americans do this but its weird for me and makes a game of Anglo-American scrabble an absolute nightmare! Colour to those in Britain is Color in the states. This is important.

ALSO – Use a thesaurus..notebook…OR a brainstorming page….it helps pick out the best descriptive words and themes the image could be suitable for…

I was taught how to do a brain storming page when I was 16 and it just opened my creativity completely!!

So why is it important to add a description and tag? Well I put this to you; if someone typed the word ‘wedding’ into a search engine and it turned out you were the photographer of this photograph, if you had the appropriate tags that people were looking for (and a kick ass image) the search engine would find you, it would find your Flickr or your blog and BAM – there is a potential customer or you have inspired someone to create a ribbon swing, or style this at their wedding! Also sometimes people are nice enough to credit you as their inspiration OR get in touch to let you know how much you inspired them. (That feeling is wonderful)

The beauty of sites such as Flickr and DeviantArt is that the Tags and descriptions are married with the search engines. Tags are especially important if you have a specific theme you want to look for.

I used to work as an Image Researcher for a stock photography company that was in partnership with Getty Images when i was a young student. If you don’t know who Getty Images are – just look in your card store, magazines, TV programs.. likelihood is – they provided the images. Now.. A client would give the account manager (person who sells them the images) and you have to go find them. Sometimes it was a COMPLETE NIGHTMARE and other times – with the right keywords it was a total dream. In the end of my time there I had so much responsibility with different areas of the business and image editing and launching of a new stock photography site that i became extremely experienced in key-wording and describing images for the site to sell.

I ALWAYS had on hand the thesaurus. I will give you a an example and I will attempt to show you keywords you can attach to them. On Flickr and Pinterest you have no limit – and I ALWAYS go there for inspiration for themes. There have been so many wonderful pieces of art I have found by trawling through groups and have had no keywords. That’s frustrating to me because I think – how will anyone know how good you are unless they go and join a specific group?

What is special about the items in the photograph? What are the items sitting on? Is there anything else around the main items in the image? Are they bright? Black and white? Colorful? or Colourful? or both?! :p Show me your examples! And remember…it’s boring to tag your images but it’s completely worth it!

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