Tagging is Everything

A lot of times when I visit Dreamstime, I don't exactly know what I'm looking for. And I don't want to wade through twenty-thousand photos in order to find the perfect one. Getting your picture in front of the buyer's eyes comes down to good tagging.

Take this picture. The minute I saw it, I knew it would be perfect for my urban fantasy romance, Straight to Hell. But I never would have found it if not for the tags attached to it.

To find this picture, I entered two random words 'romance' and 'fire' and this is what popped up. I could have spent hours looking for a photo like this without finding it. Sure, the photo was tagged with the obvious word 'eye', but it was the 'romance' tag that brought it to my attention.

My advice is, when you tag, go beyond the obvious. Try using unusual adjectives like 'sinister' or 'empathy' or 'critical'. Your customers are using word association to find the perfect picture, and you should too! Not every search is concrete. Sometimes, customers are looking for a mood or a theme as much as they are for a particular object.

Window shopping on Dreamstime can be a lot of fun, but it can also take a lot of time. Time that not everyone has. Good tagging will help them find you!

Photo credits: Trombax.

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I thank you. As someone who used to search for images on sites like this I was surprised to read most of those kinds of keywords were ill advised here when I switched to creating images, and against my personal experience, painfully edited out those words I felt I should include. It's very early in the morning here and I have just gone back to add many keywords to many of my images.


Interesting to see what search customers who bought!!!!


Useful blog, thanks!


good idea~thank u~


Good to know. Thanks!


I searched for multi ethnic worker blue collar - and I got 8 pictures of a white woman wearning a white shirt with ruffles on it and bikini underwear? So yeah, I'd say tagging is important - looking for mutlit-ethnic workers turns up dozens of people in offices when I'm looking for blue collar workers in factories, warehouses, manufacturing. Hey photographers, let's get over the obsession with pretty young office professionals and get some pics of people who do other kinds of work, and tag, tag, tag.


Thanks for the info!


Thank you. Your advice is really userful.


Thank you, nice blog!


Great advice. And thank you for sharing :-)


Great advice....thank you for sharing :)


Good advice....."unusual adjectives....."! Thank you!


I hope the management hear this advice and respond ......... it will help sales. David.


very useful, hope dt admin reads this! I also get concept words removed, and the other night I had over 40 images with the words time-travel in them and yet i could not even pull up my OWN images using that tag! guess the system is not always perfect. hope you have future book cover hunts in MY direction!


I agree. I try to put myself in the designer's shoes and think how my image could be found using concept-type keywords. The problem is that the idea of "concepts" is very wide and the image gets flagged for incorrect keywords. For example, I used the words "relax" and "relaxing" on a photo of a beach umbrella on an empty beach and it was flagged and the words removed.

The word romance as a keyword in your picture, could have been flagged too, as it has no direct association to the subject of the photo.

Again, I agree with you but Dreamstime's flagging system does not allow sometimes for random or concept words.


Great advice. Thank you.


One useful click from me. Thank you!

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