So many times, the recollection of an image begins with “When I took that picture…” If your keywording system is supposed to minimize the treasure hunt to find that particular image, it’s handy to record a few keywords about the timing of a shot.
When is so much more than clock time. The camera embeds clock time into the metadata, but 6:13 pm isn’t much of a memory trigger. When I’m keywording, I will add words that describe cyclical or sequential aspects of the “when” of a photo, like:
- season (spring, summer, etc.)
- daylight to darkness (sunrise, golden hour, blue hour)
- before/after, early/late, arrival/departure
When I shoot weddings or events, I keyword groups of photos based on the sequence of the day (pre-ceremony, processional, ceremony, etc.). Or for a sporting event, like a swim meet or ski race, I add words like heat, semi-final, final.
If I had kids, I would definitely include words like “age 7” and “first grade” as I added their pictures to the catalog. Wouldn’t it be fun to easily be able to find all the dorky junior high school candids of your kids in ten or twenty years, all at the ready to embarrass your offspring by showing them to their future spouses? (It’s probably just as well on the childless circumstance…)
Then there are specialized terms that relate to your subject matter. Now that I’m planting apple trees, I’ll be adding the terms for sequence of blossom to ripe fruit. The timing of “green tip” and “first bloom” and “petal fall” won’t occur on the same calendar day from year to year, but as I document my orchard, even if only for my own records, the fruiting stage is the relevant data point to observe and keyword.
Like a newly planted orchard, the effort in keywording pays off as your image collection grows. Take a few minutes now to describe your images and enjoy the fruits of your labor for years to come.