A Quick Guide to Keywords

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Adding keywords is an essential part of the image submission process. In an ever-expanding collection with many thousands of photographs and illustrations, keywords enable clients to find what they're looking for quickly and easily.

Keywords should describe as accurately as possible what an image represents. This could be the actual content of the image and its location as well as emotions or concepts that the image represents.

If you submit a photo of a man on top of a mountain, obvious keywords to include would be 'man' and 'mountain' (plus the location). You might also find that the image could represent certain moods and ideas such as 'remote', tranquil', 'freedom' or 'achievement'. Single words separated by commas work best, so 'man, mountain, Nepal' would work better than 'man on a mountain in Nepal'.

A few simple guidelines

  1. You must caption and keyword all images in English. Non-English captions are not accepted.
  2. Each image must have at least 10 keywords, up to a maximum of 35.
  3. Correct spelling is extremely important. Make sure you double-check your keywording before uploading. If you misspell keywords, clients will not find your images unless they misspell them too!
  4. Use only Roman (Latin) characters. Avoid the use of characters from other alphabets, accented characters and punctuation.
  5. Make sure you include location information for all your travel and scenic images, both in the keywords and captions. Otherwise you will reduce the sales potential of your images.
  6. Include ages and ethnicities of the people in your images whenever that information is available. This also helps the customer to retrieve relevant images more quickly.
  7. Avoid keywording insignificant content in your image. If you submit an image of an office and on a cluttered desk in the background is a pencil, it's useless to add 'pencil' as a keyword. A client searching for 'pencil' will only be confused by this photo. You waste your own and the client's time by including irrelevant keywords.
  8. Do not use articles and prepositions; the, in, on, a, and, this, but etc.
  9. Only include colours as keywords it they are a central or important part of the picture.
    • Example 1: When keywording a photo of a box of crayons, don't add the colour of each and every crayon in the box, just apply 'colourful'.
    • Example 2: As well, for outdoor photos, you shouldn't include 'blue' and 'green' as keywords just because there's some blue sky and a couple of trees.
  10. Focus on the actual contents of your image. When keywording a photo of a snow-covered mountain, the word 'ski' might come to mind. But if there aren't any skis or skiers in the image, ‘ski' isn't a relevant keyword.
  11. Use adjectives. Clients are often searching for images with a certain feeling or mood; happy, sad, energetic, harmony, etc. These kind of keywords are popular. So, when you have a great image of a happy family, you can expand your keywording further to include other descriptive terms like smiling, cheerful and joyful. Keywords like fantastic, euphoria, spectacular, etc., are often over the top. Don't exaggerate.
  12. Don't include generic words like 'photo', 'photograph', 'image' or 'picture', as these could apply to nearly every image in the collection. Only use them if they are relevant to the content of your image.

Misleading keywords

We reserve the right to remove keywords that we find inappropriate or misleading – the purpose of this is to make it easier for potential clients to find exactly what they're looking for. This is an important aspect in the usability of the search function of the site.

Correcting keyword content

Some of you have asked if it's possible to correct and/or add keywords to your images after they've been uploaded. Currently, this is not possible, so make sure you get it right the first time!

Should you detect important errors in your descriptions or keywords, send an email to help@crestock.com with a detailed description of the problem and we'll make corrections where we deem necessary.

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