Keywords will improve your photography by organizing your images, making them discoverable by others. If you plan to sell to your images, they are as necessary as luggage when you travel.
Most image-editing software shows image metadata. Some, like Apple Photos and Adobe Lightroom allow you to edit the metadata.
So what is metadata? It’s all the additional information about a photo that’s stored in your image file. It includes information recorded by your camera, like time and date, GPS coordinates, exposure, focal length and the make and model of the camera itself.
Adobe Lightroom is a popular app for importing, organizing, editing, and exporting your photos. One of its most overlooked areas is metadata. Metadata is like luggage–you plan for a vacation and pack for all eventualities. Like packing for a trip, packing metadata takes time. But not packing properly can limit what you do on vacation.
In Lightroom, look in the Library module on the right-hand side of the screen to access the Metadata panel. You can edit metadata such as title, file name, copyright, and a few other things.
Among those few other metadata things are keywords. They are the bathing suit, nice tie, and toothbrush and shaving kit you pack when traveling. The more time you spend planning and packing beforehand, the more you can do later on your trip. You can find them packed away in your image metadata. Access them in Apple Photos by selecting Window > Info. In Lightroom, you can find them in the Keywording and Keyword List panels just above the Metadata panel.
While it’s true that keywords can help you do more with your photos–they help you search your vast photo library or help Lightroom automatically build Smart Collection albums for you–they can help you earn money while you relax on vacation.
Sell, Sell, Sell
If you upload your photos to stock, portfolio, or print websites, keywords will help you make sales. They come along like a good piece of luggage when you travel to a website that sells photos. You’ll save time because your keywords have been automatically checked-in at some of these sites. You won’t have to create them anew when you arrive.
Which sites use your keywords and which treat them as lost luggage? Here’s a travel update for a few popular sites: