We are entering the home stretch here on the 10-Week Digital Photo Organizing Challenge, and hopefully, you are beginning to reap the benefits of all of your hard work! Ready to learn about rating and tagging digital photos?
Last week was a pivotal moment for those of you who completed the assignment to rename your digital image files. By doing so, you unlocked the key to easily finding your images by giving each one of them a searchable name. In my experience, completing this step gets you about 90% there when it comes to finding the photos you are looking for.
There are times, however, when going the extra mile by adding tags/keywords and ratings to your images can really make your photo organizing system hum like a well-oiled machine.
How many of you are searching for the PERFECT photo(s) to include in this year’s holiday card? Wouldn’t it be great if you had some way to flag the “best of the best” photos you took in 2015? If you had, it would simply be a matter of looking at that small sub-set of photos to create your holiday card.
What if you wanted to give your high school senior an amazing graduation gift in the form of a photo book that contains highlights of his/her life over the past 18 years? I bet you would appreciate having a magic tool that could somehow enable you to quickly retrieve photos of that particular child.
Fortunately, there are tools that can assist you in both of these scenarios…the Tag/Keyword and Rating functions within your photo organizing software program!
RATING AND TAGGING DIGITAL PHOTOS
In the photo organizing world, adding keywords/tags and ratings to your photos is considered by many to be an optional step in the photo organizing process. The thought is that if you’ve used a richly descriptive naming convention, you may find that searching for photos by file name is sufficient most of the time. In a sense, you are adding keywords/tags to your digital image file when you rename the file. However, there is a practical limit to how long an image file name can be.
In the screenshot below, you can see the benefit of beefing up the image metadata (data embedded in a digital image) by using tags to add an extra layer of specificity to my images. Searching just on image name, I can easily locate the photos from this year’s family vacation in Hilton Head. Since this collection of images is rather large (a few hundred), I chose to add tags to indicate which family members were in the photo, as well as more specific information about the event/location within Hilton Head (the beach, our shark-fishing expedition, etc).
You’ll also notice that one of those photos has a 5-Star rating, which means it will be among the handful of images that I’ve identified throughout the year as worthy of consideration for this year’s Christmas Card photo.
Any photo management software tool should enable you to easily tag and rate your photos. Both the Windows and Mac operating systems come with built-in basic photo management software that offers this functionality (Windows Photo Gallery and MAC Photos). You can typically perform these functions in a batch process to save time.
Your Assignment for Week 8:
1. Spend some time working with your newly organized digital photo collection (after renaming files) to determine whether you feel the need to add tags and/or ratings
2. If you determine that you would like to tag/rate all or a portion of your collection, research how to complete these tasks in the photo management software that you plan to use (e.g., Windows Photo Gallery, MAC Photos, Forever, Flickr, Picasa, Lightroom, etc.)
3. Complete the tagging/rating process
4. Use the SEARCH function on your computer to locate specific images and time how long it takes you; let me know how quickly you were able to find your photos in the comments section of this post
Be sure to return later in the week to let me know about your progress with rating & tagging digital photos via the comments section, Facebook, or Instagram (use hashtag #digitalphotoorganizingchallenge on Instagram).
Have you grabbed your free Digital Photo Organizing Tool Kit yet? I’ve created it as a companion resource for the Challenge. Grab yours here.
This post is part of the 10 Week Digital Photo Organizing Challenge
Just discovered the Challenge? I invite you to read the Challenge Overview post first. You can then begin to work your way through the weekly Challenge assignments below:
- Week 1: Establish your digital photo hub
- Week 2: Inventory your collection
- Week 3: Create a photo backup system
- Week 4: Create a core file structure for your digital photos
- Week 5: Sort digital images
- Week 6: Remove duplicate digital photos
- Week 7: Rename digital photo file names
- Week 9: Create a digital photo organizing maintenance plan
- Week 10: Celebrate & share your photos
~ Happy Photo Organizing my Friends!