As an amateur photographer I’ve been contacted for requests to use photos in various books. Sometimes it’s the author that contacts me directly. Sometimes it’s an editor or publisher. It tends to be for books that focus on the natural environment or travel, since most of the photos I take are outdoor pictures.
At first, I was puffed with pride. Wow, someone thinks my photos are great! However, I’ve come to realize that it’s not necessarily because I’m a good photographer. It’s because the librarian in me tags everything when I post content! My photos are well organized and easy to find. I’m obsessive about tagging everything properly.
Today I was contacted by a team of French scientists who plan to publish a book about heart-shaped rocks. I took a picture of one while vacationing in Maui in 2015. I was like, how did they find me? Not hard. A travel blog post I did about Maui is on the first page of a Google search for heart-shaped rock Maui. A search on Flickr brings up my photos on the first page of results.
There are far better photographers than me, but if you don’t tag and classify your photos, no one will be able to find them. So metadata FTW! Librarians, do your library skillz infiltrate your hobbies too?
Here’s the photo they will be using…