|Front Page News
Can Google Images Help Photobuyers?As the Internet continues to expand, it’s becoming clear that photo researchers for magazines, book publishers, graphic houses, corporations, etc. cannot afford the time to physically look through the exploding masses of images streaming aboard the Internet. Especially when they need to find a very specific image.
“The long tail search” (text search) has now been discovered by most photo researchers. They’ve found that Google search and the other search engines, MSN-Aol-Yahoo et al, can make life easy for them.
TEXT SEARCH NOT PICTURE SEARCH
It seems perhaps surprising to suggest that using text to find a picture works better than searching through images themselves. But professional photo research is moving that direction and leaving Google image concepts and traditional image search facilities behind.
For example, if you used an image-based search to find general shots of ”Capitol Hill Washington DC,” in a Google Images search you’d find 200 images, or more like 2,000. As we all know, we could shout out the window and a dozen photographers would come running down the street waving their great photos of “Capitol Hill Washington DC.”
But let’s say you’re searching for something very specific, like “Capitol Hill Washington DC Amtrak Schedule Board.” Approaching your search through usual image search channels, you’re at risk of suffering “tired eyeballs syndrome,” searching through hundreds of inappropriate images at Google Image search, Alamy, PhotoShelter, Corbis and others. Or you may get frustrated time and again, getting, “Your search yielded no results. Please try broadening your search criteria…”
How to save time zeroing in on a source of such an obscure image? You’ll find a text search can be the answer. Here at PhotoSource International we’ve worked both with photographers and photo researchers to create just such a resource.
Back in 1999 we began building a website called The PhotoSourceBANK, where photographers could enter keywords describing specific photos they have available (or could easily take). Each photographer can enter up to 3,000 keywords and phrases.
The PhotoSourceBANK now contains more than a million keyphrases (long tail search tags) and combinations of keywords and tags. We ask photographers to gear their keywords according to what they think a researcher might enter into a Google search.
Many photo Researchers who are up against a stonewall despite valiant efforts to find a highly specific picture, find the solution to their search is the PhotoSourceBANK. We advise them to include the word ‘photosource’ at the end of their search phrase. As our PhotoSourceBANK grows, more and more researchers are finding a “text” search to be more convenient and time-saving than an image search.
We’ve been offering this service for only ten years, but as the database grows from a million to a billion words, it promises a revolution in photo research, thanks to advances and improvements in Internet search.
By typing a standard Google search for “Capitol Hill Washington DC Amtrak Schedule Board,” a space, and then the word ‘photosource,’ you’ll see that Google will provide a contact result where you can go to find a photographer who has your exact photo need and a deep selection of photos in that niche area.
You phone, fax or email the photographer, ask for a LightBox selection of pictures to review, select the one you need, negotiate a fee, and receive a high-resolution picture of your choice in a matter of hours.
The beauty of this system for photo researchers is that photographers who shoot in specific markets usually have a passion for that niche market, are up-to-date on the subject, and available for additional consulting on the subject matter. You can’t get that with across-the-board microstock or Flickr shooters.
Do photographers enjoy keywording their images? No they don’t. “I’m a photographer, not a library scientist!” subscribers shout at me. But once they get a taste of the amount of business a hefty number of keywords generates for them, there are no more complaints about the tedious task of entering more tags and keywords.
Plus the metadata can keep selling their images for them when they retire, let alone be an annuity for their heirs, plus make their image collection attractive to stock libraries, museums, historical societies or universities should they want to donate or sell their archives down the line.
It all evolves around good keyphrasing!
A search for a picture in Google Images is a nice place to visit, but no serious photo researcher wants to live there. It will never be a threat to specialized stock agencies or independent stock photographers who specialize. However, a text search at the standard everyday Google text bar can be a haven for photo researchers.
Rohn Engh is the best-selling author of “Sell & ReSell Your Photos” and “sellphotos.com.” He has produced a new eBook, “How to Make the Marketable Photo.” For more information and to receive a free eReport: “8 Steps to Becoming a Published Photographer,” visit http://www.sellphotos.com
For more information about the PhotoSourceBANK: http://www.photosource.com/bank