“Fake” Keywords


Today’s Question: Do you organize at all based on how your images are used? For example, printed or uploaded to Flickr or delivered to a client or included in a webinar? If so, how? Keywords? Collections?

Tim’s Quick Answer: When I feel it is appropriate based on my specific needs, I do organize photos based on how they are put to use. I use special keywords for this purpose, which I refer to as “fake keywords”.

More Detail: Today’s question is somewhat related to the question I addressed in yesterday’s Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter. When it comes to keeping track of special attributes for photos, such as how they are used, I make use of special keywords for this purpose. I refer to these as “fake keywords” because they are keywords used in a way that is different from the more typical approach of identifying subjects within the photo.

For example, I enjoy sharing some of my favorite photos through my Instagram feed (and I encourage you to follow my account, with user name “timgreyphoto”!). I prefer to keep track of which photos I have already shared to Instagram, in part to ensure I don’t accidentally share the same photo twice. For this purpose I add the keyword “InstagramShare” to photos I share on Instagram.

If I also wanted to create a collection that included these photos, I would actually create a smart collection rather than a “normal” collection. A smart collection is essentially a saved search result, so in this example I would specify criteria for the smart collection so that photos with the “InstagramShare” keyword would be included in the smart collection automatically.

I don’t happen to identify photos as having been printed, but that is certainly something else you could accomplish with a “fake” keyword. In short, I recommend adding a special keyword to any photo for which you would like to preserve a particular status for. Even better, those “fake” keywords can help preserve information that would be lost if you were to lose your Lightroom catalog. That is because features such as collections, pick and reject flags, and other Lightroom-specific features, are not saved to the metadata for your photos even if you have enabled the option to have metadata saved automatically to your source image files.