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Author Topic: Photos of yourself: How to handle within hierarchical keyword list?  (Read 5237 times)
Jr. Member
Posts: 58

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« on: September 19, 2010, 01:28:42 PM »

Hello -- first time poster here, excited about setting up a DAM system in Lightroom 3 for personal photos and also artwork documentation. Thank goodness for the DAM book!

I'm setting up a Keyword list in LR and have run into a sort of existential question... "Who am I?" and "Where do I belong?"

So far I have it set up this way:

---Malaria (my last name)
------My dad
------Dad's brother
------Names of other family members on Dad's side
---O'Connell (my mother's last name)
------My mom
------My mom's sister
------Names of other family members on Mom's side
---Smith (my husband's last name)
------My brother-in-law
------His kids
------Names of other members of my husband's family

The idea being -- now I can search for groups of photos by branch of family, which I think will be useful.

So -- where do I put the keyword for Becky Malaria and the one for my spouse?

If I want to search for photos of all the Malarias, I don't want to mess up my results by including all the photos with just me in them and not any other Malarias. We have a ton of images of just me and my spouse hanging out around our apartment, or traveling, for example. That would probably not be what I was looking for if I did a search for Malarias.

On the other hand, don't both of us officially belong to ALL branches of these families now?

Possible ways to do it:

-Put my name under the Malarias and spouse's name under Smiths (Which is weird, because then I am only associated with my father's side)
-Put both names in both places (Would this mess up search results depending which keyword list it belonged to? Does LR just find one sub-keyword group or does it find both groups? Need to test that.)
-Make a separate higher-level entry for Me+Spouse and put our individual names underneath. (I'm leaning toward this but feel as though I'm not anticipating all possible outcomes.)

Feel like I'm seriously overcomplicating it and need a reality check. How do other people keyword images of themselves? How does this play out for you when performing searches/making collections?

Related question... there is an IPTC Extended field for Person Shown. What are people's thoughts on:

-Putting more than one name in this field -- if so, separated by what, a comma?
-Duplicating names here with keywords, or not?

Thank you so much in advance for helping me wrap my head around this!

Hero Member
Posts: 1813

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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2010, 12:25:13 PM »

Good question. And I'm sure there are more complicated family relationships - eg someone might potentially have pictures of themselves from first and second or more marriages. And then add in kids living with one or other parent.

I think I would approach it by having a People top level keyword, and then just listing everyone's full names below that, so just 2 levels. I would then create smart collections as and when I need them, so a 2 line one such as Keywords / Contains All / Becky Malaria, Keywords / Contains All / Fred Smith would catch all pictures with you and your husband.

This is consistent with my view of hierarchical keywords. I'm a bit odd in that I don't use them. Instead of building hierarchies in expectation of using them to find items, I put the time into data entry and building those hierarchies elsewhere, and only when I actually need them.

What I'd suggest is trying out some ideas such as those you outlined and mine here. Make sure you cover both sides - data entry and smart collections / filters for finding pictures meeting test criteria. Just try it in a temporary catalogue.

Jr. Member
Posts: 58

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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2010, 05:35:06 PM »


Thanks for your insights. Only practice will make it clear which way of organizing will end up being the most intuitive to me, so I'll just have to make a stab at it.

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