new wave keywording


special YES keyboardAt the beginning of my microstock experience, I spent a lot of time to keyword images looking to describe all the details in the photos and then adding synonyms and concept words.
Many of my first images have more than 70 keywords…

First problem arrived when I began to upload at Shutterstock, maximum number of keywords is set to 50.

Then finally I was able to contribute at iStockphoto and most part of the first batches was rejected by keywords.

Now it's the turn of Veer Marketplace that is checking my uploads and putting many photos in stand-by with the message :
Irrelevant keywords – please improve. Please remove excess keywords – try to only include terms directly relevant to image. Think about limiting submitted keywords to 15-20 terms that are directly pertinent to the image.

Plus, have you ever check the column Buyer searched after in the Dreamstime Earnings page?
In my case, when the information is present, you can count 2 or 3 keywords very simple, for example:

  • a wooden board wall texture <– keywords searched boards texture wooden
  • a Marrakesh mosque minaret <– keywords searched marrakesh
  • some white marble slabs <–  keywords searched block marble

So, my new target is to find 10-20 keywords strictly inherent with the photo (maybe with the integration of the keywords tools already mentioned in other posts).

A special attention to people photos keywording. Find keywords to describe sub-categories: characteristics, generations, relationships/combinations (check the super-fashion gettyimages Keyword Guide page or download the PDF doc)

To complete the issue, you can read these articles:
12 Commandments of Keywording, by Cutcaster
Stock Photographer Training Manual – Title, Descriptions & Keywords by iStockphoto


About Author

I write about the stock photo and microstock industry since 2006 on my several online-magazines. My goal for MyStockPhoto is to teach photographers and stock photographers how to sell more photos and earn money with their photography hobby.


  1. I've noticed that too long ago…but I keep entering as many keywords as possible…everytime I try to add fewer keywords I think: I'm sure someone will search for this one exaclty…
    But actually they always search for the very basic stuff…

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