Things aren't always what they appear to be. So it’s best not to take them for granted. What could be more well-known than the Statue of Liberty? Well, let’s see…
Choose which of the following ladies loves cheesecake and shops at B&H Photo. In other words, which of the following statues of Liberty is the “true” one, located in New York?
Answer: None of them.
These replicas are located in: Georgia, Tokyo, Paris, Chicago and Las Vegas. If confusion can occur with a famous face like Lady Liberty, imagine how easily it can occur with less known places and things!
A complete image description, including location information, is absolutely essential for images of geography, nature, botany, zoology, research, industry, medicine, science, world locations or travel, etc. Even images of street scenes, common people, street furniture or equipment and so on, will often benefit of some information about where they have been taken. See more in our complete keywording guide.
You may think this kind of information is not relevant for images which don’t fall in the World Locations topic, but keep in mind that many potential clients will need to know this information. If your image doesn’t have it, they will probably buy another image that does have the information. If you’re lucky, they will take the time to ask us for the information, and we’ll ask you, and by the time the client gets your answer, if you’re really lucky, they’ll still want to buy the image. To put it simply: Specific location information = a more complete caption/image description = better chance of sale!
There's another reason that accurate location information is important. Imagine that a happy-go-lucky British photographer on a whirlwind tour of Spain makes a mistake and captions an image "Plaza de Sol in Madrid" when it really is "Plaza del Rey in Barcelona." Later, an ad agency in Chicago licenses and uses the image for an printed travel piece on Barcelona. When a savvy customer complains, the ad agency is not happy. And "not happy" in the U.S. might mean "going to court." If there is litigation, the buck will stop with the source of the inaccurate information, the photographer. Caption errors can produce unhappy clients or worse, lawsuits, so it´s very important to maintain accurate and complete caption information. Here´s how...
7 Ways to keep track of detailed location information:
For $200 or less (depending on your camera type), invest in a photo gps unit that will allow you to “geotag” your photos.
When out shooting, carry a small notebook and jot down notes about the places being photographed.
Take a photo of any informative signs or maps to document the information.
Try to carry a detailed map of cities/areas where you are shooting so that you can trace your route, and know the streets/neighbourhoods/etc where you shot each image.
Use Google-earth for the same, to pinpoint addresses or road and building names.
Search Wikipedia for additional information on places and buildings. Do not copy and paste entire entries! Choose only important, concise details.
If you have photographed a place, caption your images as soon as possible, while your memory is still fresh.
What’s your secret? If you have a tip for how to keep track of location info, we´d love to hear it.