My Workflow for Efficient Keywording of a Stock Photo

Keywording determines the fate of the stock photos. I want to explain this important process with a sample photo of a cat.

First of all, there is no point in tagging a photo of cat with the keyword “cat” only, because when you search for “cat” on iStock, you are seeing 457000 results today. So if you cannot find any other interesting keywords to tag a cat’s photo, do not waste your time by uploading the image.

Supposing that you want to upload the image in any way. In that case, you can make some adjustments on the image. For example: changing colour of only one eye of the cat may be an option to add new keywords and separate it from other cats.

But this small change does not remove the necessity from adding keywords “cat”, “animal”, “outdoor” etc. for the image. I hate dealing with things that are far below my abilities. Isn’t it a boring routine to look a photo, see the cat and write the keyword “cat”? Do you know that there are applications that do this routine for you and generate keywords automatically? My motto as an engineer is “if something can be done by machines, it’s inefficient to do it manually.”

Here is my workflow of keywording a photo:

  1. I drag and drop the image on Keywordsready and let the tool generates keywords for me. I copy and paste the keywords to where I want to upload the image. ( is a completely free keywording tool that uses artificial intelligence technology.)
  2. I ask myself the following question “What is in this image different from others?” and add a few more keywords that will help my image to separate from others. For this example, after editing eye of the cat: “heterochromia”, “variety”, “colourful”, “anomaly” etc.
  3. I ask myself the following question “if I were a buyer, which keywords would I use to find my image?” and add a few strong keywords which are conceptual generally.

Sometimes I skip the steps 2 and 3 because Keywordsready might have generated all necessary keywords for me.

An example how Keywordsready can increase your productivity

Assuming that you are a travel photographer and you have a Canon 5D Mark IV. Last month you traveled a few countries and shoot hundreds of images of streets, natural landmarks, buildings, people etc. Now you are at home and want to upload your images but you think that keywording is an annoying work because you have to remember where the images have been taken and name of the landmarks. Don’t worry! If GPS of your camera is turned on during your travel, leave the rest to Keywordsready that can find not only country, city, district of the image but also name of the landmarks. Although only this feature is enough to increase your efficiency, there are more features like finding number and ages of people visible in the image, technical properties of the image and many more…

3 Comments My Workflow for Efficient Keywording of a Stock Photo

  1. Aysun Yağcı March 7, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    “The question of whether a computer can think is no more interesting than the question of whether a submarine can swim.” ― Edsger W. Dijkstra

  2. Michel January 19, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    Awesome work. Now to get keywording.


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