Finding that photograph!
Posted on: 05/09/2016

If you’ve ever seen someone frantically trying to show you one photograph amongst the thousands of images they have on their phone or laptop, you appreciate one of the most frustrating aspects of digital photography. Finding that one photograph you need, right now, amongst the thousands taken.

Here’s how I resolve this problem for my clients. It’s a very simple addition to my work-flow but it makes a world of difference to how easily you can find any photograph you need instantly.

I’m sure you will have heard the terms metadata and keywords. Metadata is a tiny snippet of information that is embedded in a digital file and that can be read by a computer or by software. Keywords are any word or phrase that we can use when we search on-line using Google or our favourite search engine. But you knew that anyway, didn't you. By adding keywords to a digital image file you can find all the images with that specific keyword or phrase rapidly and efficiently. 

We’ve all had the intention to go through and add the keywords to our collection of photographs. The problem is that we rarely, if ever get around to it and if we do, it’s time-consuming and tedious. The best time to do it is when the photographs are being post-processed. Unfortunately, photographs taken with smart-phones and most point-and-shoot cameras process the image in the camera, so the opportunity isn’t easily available. Unless you’re disciplined enough to do it as you download your images, it doesn’t get done.

When I speak with new clients, we agree early in our discussions how we propose to keyword their work. Some customers are happy to have basic keywording such as their customer name and the capture date, (the date is normally there anyway). Other customers request a variety of additional keywords. These might be their internal job or project numbers, so that all colleagues can easily find images related to any specific project. Others might request colleague names to associate an image with a particular person initially responsible for that project. The end result is the same. By careful preparation within an ongoing relationship, we create a library of images that are easy to search and navigate.

Careful and diligent keywording means having the exact image at your fingertips, exactly when you need it. And by embedding the copyright and licensing information at the same time, there is an electronic path that helps protect your photographs from unauthorised use too.

I hope this article is of some use to some of you. Please feel free to bookmark this post for future reference and if you have any questions or you would like to know more, hit the Enquire Now button.

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