For the past several days I’ve been spending many, many hours keywording images for upload to my stock agencies, and to place on a personal stock site (in progress with news and launch to follow, soon). Keywording is one of the most tedious tasks for a photographer, unfortunately it is also vital. For quite a while I wasn’t very good at it, and I’m still learning. I thought descriptive words and where it was taken would be sufficient. After I all, I’m an outdoor photographer and I think like one. If I wanted to find an image, like the one above, of autumn foliage in the Brooks Range, I’d type into the search engine words like: autumn, fall, foliage, leaves, colorful, Brooks Range. Easy, right? The problem arises when you realize that buyers don’t think like photographers. Buyers, may occasionally want a specific image image from a particular place, but often they are looking for something conceptual. Emotive words like quiet, peaceful, pleasing, and calm can be as important to include in keyword lists as the descriptive words. In fact one needs these words, and many more, to get an image to appear as often as possible in front of buyers. This takes some mental effort, and just as importantly, time. I’ll often assign a hundred keywords, in addition to a short caption to each image. While keywording tools in programs like Lightroom make the task easier, it remains extremely time consuming. It can be difficult to hold focus for the extended periods required. Over the past week, I’ve keyworded about 500 images, with another 500 or so to go before I launch my new personal stock site. I’m up for another couple of weeks of this…ugh.