Keywording life

When people ask me where I work, I usually just tell them I work for a stock photography company, omit the name, and watch the quizzical look on their face. I quickly explain that our company sells images for use in ads and such (which is the simplest way to put it), and that is generally met with a nod of the head and an “Ah, okay”. Inevitably they ask if I’m a photographer, to which I say no, and then attempt to explain what it is I do as a keyworder.

Folks who use the computer quite a bit are quicker to understand, but for folks who don’t it can be a challenge to explain. I’m going to make the very broad assumption that if you are reading blogs online, you are familiar with “tagging”, or at the very least you are familiar with searching for info online. As a keyworder, I am tasked with making search results relevant on our company sites. Along with complicated computer bits and a sophisticated controlled vocabulary, I ensure that keywords are correctly attached to images, so that when a customer comes to one of our sites and searches for a photo of a woman walking a dog, those are exactly the types of images that come up.

I have a little mantra on a post-it at my desk “Search results like perfect blossom”. Oh, the ultimate pursuit as a keyworder. It might seem stressful to have such an unattainable goal (seriously, after five years, I know it is unattainable, especially in microstock photography), but then I am reminded that everyone sees blossoms differently. My perfect blossom is probably not the same as yours. I find this thought calming.

Sorry about the abstract thoughts on a fairly abstract concept, in a post that was supposed to clarify what I do 40 hours a week. In summary, I keyword images. Since that is such a large part of my world, I thought I could share some of that with you through my own photos. So I am starting a weekly post called a Keyword Story in which I hope to post photos from my own adventures alongside keywords rather than a fully written story. The adventure begins on a trip to Europe we took in the spring…