Why do you need a List of Keywords ?
Lets first consider why you need a keyword list at all. After all, you could just open Lightroom and start keywording on the fly, adding keywords as they occur to you. Here are 8 reasons why that's not a good idea:
1/ Consistency - using the same terms for similar photos throughout your collection makes searching and filtering much easier.
2/ Spelling - a Keyword List has already been checked for spelling mistakes. Misspelled words result in unique keywords, un-located images, and resultant lost income.
3/ Clarity - Nested terms are only on view when you want to look at them. When you start Lightroom, you will only see the seven Main Categories, not the full list of many thousand Keywords, but you can speedily 'drill down' to locate the exact words for your needs in a quick and logical way.
4/ Speed - a Keyword List will help you to quickly locate Keywords as they come to mind through a logical progression of sensible groupings.
5/ Similars - Once a topic has been opened, other keywords will suggest themselves, helping you to refine your description and keyword-set until you are satisfied that they can't be improved.
6/ Hierarchy - When a Keyword is chosen from a hierarchical list, its parent keywords are automatically added. Add 'Fox Terrier' and you automatically include 'dog', 'household pet', and 'mammal'.
7/ Completeness - It's important that no aspect of the image description is omitted when choosing keywords - Photo buyers expect your image to be keyworded in the correct way.
8/ Diversity - You probably have a good imagination, but it might take you a little time to match our list of over 24,000 keywords ordered by many hundreds of hierarchical categories.
My name is Tim Makins - I'm a pro-travel photographer with 30 years experience. My photos can be seen at http://www.gnomeplanet.com/ and on the Getty website. I also run the http://www.photo-keywords.com/ website, which provides a lot of resources on everything to do with keywords, including tutorials, a variety of online tools, a large number of free specialist keyword lists, and my own master keyword list. Please compare its features with other commercial lists here:
Why do you need the 'Photo-Keywords.com' list ?
So now you have realized some of the many benefits of using a pre-formatted list, you might be wondering why you should choose the 'Photo-Keywords.com' list rather than one of its competitors. There are a number of reasons:
1/ Organization - the 'Photo-Keywords.com' Hierarchical Image Keyword Catalog currently contains over 24,000 Keywords. As a flat file, such a huge list would be unmanageable and the user overwhelmed. This list, though, is thoughtfully split into 7 main categories and many hundreds of sub-categories, sub-sub and deeper level categories. Finding the required Keyword has never been easier.
2/ Structure - the list is carefully structured to 'walk you through' the process of Keywording, making sure that you don't omit any of the terms that the professional buyer is searching for. By working your way down the various categories, you will be minded to add Keywords to your image that might otherwise have been overlooked. How many people are in the image? What age are they? Is their some relationship between the people? How about Gender and Ethnicity? How are the items in the image grouped? Is there some dominant color? What time of day was it? Was there some special event taking place?
3/ Expansibility - the list is designed from the start to be easily expanded by the addition of Specialist Lists, which can be added in their own section without changing the content or layout of the master list. Free Specialist Lists can be found on this website in the Specialist Lists page, or at a variety of locations on the internet (some links to these are on my Resources page).
4/ Size - Whether or not you wish to compare the extent of the 'Photo-Keywords.com' Hierarchical Image Keyword Catalog with other commercial keyword lists, there is no doubt that our list of over 24,000 keywords in its thoughtfully-defined hierarchical order is of a very adequate size that should suit even the most demanding professional or amateur photographers, companies or academic institutions.
4/ Customized to YOUR location - Just like keywords, there is no point filling a list with a lot of geographic entities (states or cities) that you are unlikely to be interested in. If you are a photographer from England, it would be useful to have a list of all those towns and counties to work from. If you are from Texas, it would be useful to list all the populated places from there. If these two don't apply, there's no point having those details. That is why the 'Photo-Keywords.com' Hierarchical Image Keyword Catalog is so unique: there are currently 68 different versions, carefully chosen to match the area YOU are interested in. All the US states, commonwealths, and territories are there, with the populated places for each one. There's also different versions for Australia, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, listing those states, provinces, or counties with their own populated places. If you are a world traveler you can choose a version with every country and state in the world. If you are after a minimalist list, you can choose just the countries of the world, or the countries of the world + the US states. You choose - they all cost the same price.
5/ Personalized to YOUR location - Its not just the geographic entities that are specific to where you are. Each version of the Keyword Catalog is personalized to the area that you choose in a variety of ways:
a/ American-English and British-English spellings - All North American versions of the list use American-English as the primary language, and provide the British-English equivalent spelling as a synonym. All the versions for Great Britain: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales do the opposite. There are nearly 260 separate US/UK english words that get updated each time the lists are built.
b/ 'HISTORIC SITES' & 'NATURAL SITES' - both of these sections are uniquely tailored to your locality. The U.S. versions contain lists of local historic sites, memorials, monuments, battlegrounds, and national cemeteries in the 'HISTORIC SITES' sections, and national forests, parks, lakes, preserves, recreation areas, seashores and wilderness areas in the 'NATURAL SITES' sections. A similar localized list is included for other countries, and is unique to them.
c/ Local Wildlife - each version has lists of Birds, Mammals, Trees, and Wildflowers that live and grow in your area. Entries are sorted by common name, with the scientific genus and species names too. When tagging plant and animal life, it is important that these are included in your keywords.
d/ National Festivals & Public Holidays - each version lists the important annual holidays and events that occur in your part of the world.
6/ Additional Features - There are a range of features that make this Keyword List unique. Some aren't immediately apparent, but you will be glad that they are there when you need them. For instance, politically incorrect words are flagged, so you don't use them as keywords by mistake. All words that use accented letters have been transliterated to their safe equivalents, as many of the image processing programs do not allow common but potentially troublesome 'non-ascii characters', including popular foreign accented letters. All illegal characters ,;<>|? have also been checked for and eliminated. There are no missing or extra Square or Curly Brackets, no excess TAB characters, no blank or duplicate lines, and no trailing TAB characters. Special tools, some of which are available to you, were developed specifically to ensure that the 'Photo-Keywords.com' Keyword List is 'ready to hit the ground running'.
7/ Price - It seems to me that some of the other commercially available keyword lists are far too expensive for what's being offered. Without wishing to discuss this here, I'll just say that the price for licensing the 'Photo-Keywords.com' Hierarchical Image Keyword Catalog, is what I consider to be a fair price, charging for quality without exploiting scarcity. The price is the same for each of the 68 different versions.
Regards, Tim Makins