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Photobuyers and Photo Editors Find YouKeywords: image, search engine, Google, yahoo, infoseek, web, keywords, editor
Photobuyers and Photo Editors Find You
Addendum: It's fast becoming apparent to photo researchers that the easiest way to find a particular image is not to look for the image itself, but to search for a word(s) describing the image. Very often the searched-for image is an isolated cafe in Chicago, a museum for model railroad cars in Pittsburgh, or a mountain wildflower in Wyoming. Major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista, HotBot, Lycos, Infoseek, etc., continually use their webcrawlers to capture such words (text) that describe images on the Web.
It's more important than ever that your image(s) posted on the web be accompanied by a lengthy caption that includes words that would help a photo researcher, using a search engine, land on your site (rather than someone else's). Even if you don't have images posted on the web, post your text description. The search engines will find them and the photobuyers will contact you with more information about their hard-to-locate photo needs.
Photo researchers who know exactly what they want in the way of an editorial photo don't waste time looking at images. Instead, they let a search engine do their work for them by narrowing down the field of choices. Once they locate a source(s) of images, then they begin looking at pictures.
Posting descriptive words in the absence of actual photos is the way many photographers are now beginning to realize more sales. For example. micro-biologists who are also freelance stock photographers might post several hundred descriptive words on their website, knowing, although they might not have the photo in their files, they can get access to take the photo(s) in a moment's notice.
Don't make the mistake of posting hundreds of images on your website and expecting a photo editor to look at them. You only have to imagine that same researcher having to repeat that process dozens of times a day while searching for images. Eyes get tired, too. Searching by keyword, photo editors have discovered, narrows their search down to the source of the exact photo they need. -RE
Whether you subscribe to our PhotoSourceBANK (http://www.photosourcebook.com/bank/) or PhotoSourceFOLIO (http://www.photosourcefolio.com) service, or have your own website, and/or are listed with other similar providers, spend some time with your keywords and photo descriptions. The vast majority of image searches on the Internet are keyword searches, meaning that photo buyers don't search page after page of images, but instead type a few highly specific keywords into search engines (such as search.photosource.com) to locate the required images. Use keywords that accurately describe your images, of course, but don't forget to include words, as applicable, that evoke a mood or emotions or concepts. With difficult-to-spell words, include popular-use misspellings. If your images are of things technical or scientific, include those terms also, remembering to include industry slang and/or 'buzz words" as appropriate. Even though a computer will be conducting the search, DON'T USE ALL UPPERCASE JUST 'CAUSE IT'S TOO HARD TO USE THE SHIFT KEY, OR THAT'S HOW YOU DID IT BEFORE. (Looks amateurish, doesn’t it?) When the photo editor lands on your page, use of all uppercase is difficult to read. Avoid most punctuation, and if you must use punctuation or special characters (such as in foreign words), include the same word again without the diacritical marks. Many search engines won't know what to do with them, and will pass the word by. Also, most people won't know how to compose those special characters when typing into a search box. And lastly, when doing your keyword/description entry, try to think like a photobuyer who is at this moment trying to locate a suitable (and often highly specialized) image for use in her magazine catering to experts (or wannabe experts) in the very special interest area of the magazine or book.
Bill Hopkins is the Webmaster of PhotoSourceFolio* (www.photosourcefolio.com) and a regular contributor to PhotoStockNotes. Send comments via e-mail to email@example.com. Fax: 1 818 831-0916. For on-line questions, contact Bill on the Kracker Barrel at www.photosource.com/board.
*Display 6 of your own images for photobuyers to view, on your page on the PhotoSource website.
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