Tuesday’s tip – The great cleanup – part 3

So hopefully you’ve deleted some files, you’ve created some folders for your images to go into and things are looking a little cleaner. Depending on how many images you have left, this week’s task is the most time consuming yet. Having said that, once it’s done, you’ll have an incredibly efficient system for finding your images.

Step three: Keywording (also known as tagging)

Keywording allows you to search all of your images as you would in a database. It takes a lot of work, but in the long run can be a huge time saver. The plan here is to come up with 20 – 30 keywords that would describe all of your images. So for my personal work I’d use Eric, Katrina, Ella, Tehya, Stewart (for the extended Stewart family), Mitchell (for the extended Mitchell family), Ann, Vacation, Home, Adventure (for daily outings – Ella calls them adventures), Nature (I’ve got a lot of wildlife stuff), Portraits, Langara, Kalem, I hope that you get the idea. The plan is to “tag” each image with all of the applicable keywords.

So for example the snowshoe trip that Ella, Ann and I went on the tags would be: Ella, Eric, Ann, Adventure. Another example: Tehya’s one month portraits would be tagged with: Tehya, Home, Portraits. Ella’s birthday party would be: Ella, Eric, Katrina, Stewart, Mitchell, Home, and I might add a new keyword “Birthday” because there are going to be a lot more.

What’s the point of this? Well when you’re done tagging you will have a searchable database. If you want to find an image of Katrina and Tehya together at home, but you don’t really remember where to look, you search: Katrina, Tehya and Home. All of those images come up. It means that you don’t have to know when the photograph was taken, you just need to remember who might be in it.

I’ll also add a keyword to the list called Best. This is for my favourite images. The ones I know that I’ll want to go back and look at time and time again. When I want to find them, I type Best into a keyword search and all the best images come up.

I’ll say it again, the task ahead of you looks daunting, but once it’s done you’ll have a database of images that you can do something with.

*Confused about how to tag images? Read on.

Mac users for iphoto… go to window > show keywords. Here you can add keywords, assign keyboard shortcuts and tag multiple images.

For PC and Picassa users… Control K in tab mode should bring up a keyword window.

You don’t need to tag each image one at a time. All of these programs allow for multiple selection and multiple tagging.

Good luck and don’t forget, if you comment on the Why? Wednesday posts, you’ll be able to win some one on one time with either Katrina or I!

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