Photographs play a large role in the way we communicate. Professionally and personally, animated gifs, emojis, videos, photographs are all part of our interactions. Marketing teams are no exception. A navigable photo library is important to give teams a way to quickly share quality images via these channels. For those who want to be more organized, here are five common mistakes with managing photo libraries and how to avoid them.
Uninformative File Names
Filenames can be a powerful tool for finding and organizing photographs. Descriptive file names can tell you about the photograph without seeing it. While undescriptive filenames like Image142.jpg turn your image search into a guessing game, without a preview.
A descriptive filename looks like SI16-JS-TEAM-01.jpg. It provides information about the file, like that it’s for the Smartimage Brand in 2016 (SI16), taken by John Smith (JS), and for the Smartimage Team photo shoot(TEAM-01). A clear, consistent file naming structure will help your team find what they need faster.
You can learn more about best practices for file naming conventions from Stanford University Libraries.
Forgetting to add descriptive keywords
Everything about the photograph isn’t going to be shoved into a filename. That’s where metadata helps. Descriptive keywords are another tool to make finding photographs faster. It can also help people find what they are looking for by providing more information the person can search on.
You’re probably catching onto an important theme here, consistency. To reduce time spent searching for photographs, we want to reduce as much uncertainty as possible. Establishing a set of core keywords for your photographs will make your filters more findable and usable.
Identify common themes and information about the images. Review the information and consolidate any redundancies or see if similar assets are labeled by different keywords.
Organizing for yourself, not everyone accessing photos
This is a common challenge for marketing teams creating content and then sending it off to other internal teams or external teams who aren’t familiar with the marketing team’s language. The marketing team may have intimate knowledge of the specific product SKUs while a magazine editor looking for that product image will not.
Understand the various groups that will be accessing your photographs and how they will be searching for photographs. Use this information to guide how your organize and keyword your files.
Communicating photo rights
Who took the photographs and do you have permission to use it are important questions. Was it an internal photographer with your own copyright, did you hire a freelance photographer, or did you purchase the photograph? Keep track of this information so your teams are using the photographs properly.