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Lightroom Classic Metadata and Keywords

New Here ,
Dec 11, 2023 Dec 11, 2023

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I'm a portrait and wedding photographer and am trying to understand if adding Metadata, Keywords, Titles, or Captions onto images in Lightroom Classic benefits me in regards to posting images on Social Media (Facebook/Instagram), my website, or blog posts and will be embedded into the image and benefit me in Google searches?

 

METADATA: I have currently created a Metadata Preset with my Copyright information in Lightroom Classic and applied it to my images on import. 

 

KEYWORDS: Am I understanding it correctly that this relates to the description of the image(s)? For example, if I photographed an outdoor winter family session, would the keywords be separated such as: "outdoor", "winter", "family", "session" or one complete sentence "outdoor winter family session"?

 

TITLE: What is the purpose of this?

 

CAPTION: What is the purpose of this?

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Dec 11, 2023 Dec 11, 2023

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You may find this old article relevant (Note: Links in the article are obsolete.)

https://www.controlledvocabulary.com/blog/embedded-metadata-wont-help-seo.html

I use TITLE for a short photo name. Eg. "A Foggy Day".

I use CAPTION for a lengthy description. eg. "On a cold winter's morning I trekked along the hilly track feeling the cold."

I find Titles and Captions are useful for Books  (I design in LrC Book module), or Slideshows, where a Title, and/or, a Caption (Metadata) can be easily added to the photo on a page in the book, or slideshow (far more informative than using a File-name.)

 

Regards. My System: Lightroom-Classic 13.2 Photoshop 25.5, ACR 16.2, Lightroom 7.2, Lr-iOS 9.0.1, Bridge 14.0.2, Windows-11.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 11, 2023 Dec 11, 2023

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The main thing to understand is that this is not an Adobe feature specifically. It’s IPTC metadata that Adobe supports, and IPTC stands for the International Press Telecommunications Council. In other words, news organizations started this standard. But it is now used widely by all kinds of photo-related professions, including stock photography, product photography… If you want to know what all of the fields are technically supposed to do, you can study the IPTC Field Reference Table.

 

But that IPTC reference is written more for journalists and product photographers and the uses may not be clear for a wedding photographer, so one angle for you would be to ask other wedding photographers how they have found IPTC metadata to be useful for their business and their clients.

 

My impression (which is not definitive, partly because I don’t do weddings) is that a wedding photographer might use those fields like this:

 

Keywords: Your ideas are a good example, like type of shoot, season, etc. if they are only for you to see. If you intend to include the keywords in the copies you export for clients (that’s your choice), you might choose different keywords that are more client-oriented, but that might not be commonly done.

 

Title: This is probably less used than the Caption/Description, so it is a lower priority to fill out. At times I have applied the same title to all photos from an event (like “J & K’s Wedding”), while using different Captions for what each specific picture was about, but I’m not going to claim that’s the “correct” way to use those.

 

Caption (also called Description in some software): A short sentence or two about the image, often to give viewers context such as the journalistic “who, what, where, when.” This seems to be supported by more photo sharing/social media sites than Title and Keyword, so if a photo is uploaded to different services, something in this field is more likely to survive.

 

Some social media sites strip some or all metadata from incoming images (in some cases even the copyright metadata gets stripped), so depending on whether they’re going to Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, etc. it might or might not be worth the time to put in certain types of metadata. Again, good to ask other wedding photogs what works and what is a waste of time.

 

In your keyword example, I think it would be recommended to enter each word separately, not multiple words in one entry. (Of course words that always go together can be entered together.) If anyone wanted to search for those four words, running a search will find all four keywords in one image anyway if they are separate. And, keeping them separate greatly increases their utility, for example, it allows the advanced metadata search/filters in photo applications to run a search on [outdoor AND winter AND family AND session] as well as [outdoor AND family NOT winter] or [family AND winter NOT outdoor]. If all the words are in one entry, they can’t easily be filtered separately.

 

One good source of study are the books by Peter Krogh, who has advised many organizations and companies about metadata best practices.

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