Sunday, January 15, 2012

CAPTIONS PLEASE?

Screen grab from the program Photo Mechanic.
Screen grab from Photo Mechanic.
Something that continues to amaze me is the complete lack of caption information I receive when requesting photography. I'm not talking about photos from a scientist in the field or program manager documenting their technology, rather I am talking about photographs from professional photographers. I'm also somewhat surprised to learn that many photographers don't see this as part of the process when they are hired for an assignment.

Time after time, I have to follow up after the fact just to get some basic information about what I'm seeing in order use the image. No information, no names, no sense of what is going on, means no publication. While adding the who, what, where and when is a basic tenet in the photojournalism community where it is recognized that without proper caption data a photo just can't be used, the rest of the photography world seems to ignore this, or worse, see it as a major inconvenience.

My suggestion to all photographers is to spend $150 on the software program Photo Mechanic. Not only will Photo Mechanic save you time when editing large numbers of photos, it will also allow you to quickly rename, add caption metadata, including copyright information and then copy images to multiple locations. And you can do all of that when you ingest the images from your camera cards. A few minutes spent refining your workflow and you'll wonder how you ever managed.
Set your photography apart and increase your marketability by making sure you gather caption information. Added bonus is that when embedding caption information you are also embedding information about yourself, including photo credit, and if applicable, copyright information.

If you are serious about photography, download a trial version of Photo Mechanic for free, I dare you not to purchase.

UPDATE 2/10/12: Two websites, photometadata.org and iptc.org tell you everything you want to know and more about what I've described above.

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