Adding Keywords To Your Lightroom Catalogs

Although Lightroom can be a powerful tool for photo editing one of the key features of the application is that it is a database of your photos. It’s not just an editing application where you make your creative edits and save the files to never be seen again. But since the core is a database there are some powerful tagging capabilities that can help you in the future to find past images very quickly.

Today I want to cover how to add keywords to your images in Lightroom. One great thing about Lightroom is some of your broad keywords can be added very easily when you import the images. When you start a import with Lightroom look to the right of your screen for a keyword box. Here you can enter in any keywords that will be applied to your entire import. Normally I will keyword shoots with generic information here like their names, what type of shoot it was, location, etc… Just separate keywords with a comma and enter as many as you need.

lightroom keyword tagging

Once you get your images into Lightroom you can start to enter more specific keywords into groups of photos. Say you wanted to catalog all of the photos of wedding shoes that you have taken when the bride is getting ready. You can keyword the images of shoes in this shoot so in the future all shoe shots can be brought up in a second. Adding specific keywords can be done right in the Library panel. First make sure you are in the Grid view so you can select multiple images at once. The on the right you will have a Keywording panel.

Just type in a list of keywords for the image that you have selected. Separate the keywords by a comma and you can use spaces in a keyword if you would like.

lightroom keywords copy

You can also use the Keyword Suggestion box and the Keyword Set box to quickly click on a keyword to add that to the image. It will show any current keyword you are using for the image in bold.

lightroom keyword sets2

The Keyword Set box also has a really cool feature where you can create presets of commonly used keywords. Just click on the drop down next to Keyword sets and choose to save your current set as a preset for future use.

lightroom keyword sets

Use the Spraycan to add keywords
You can also use the Spraycan to spray paint on a keyword across multiple images. The spray can is a pretty cool feature of Lightroom where you can basically spray information across multiple images. To access the spray can just click on the little spray can icon at the bottom of the library module. Then select Keywords from the drop down menu to the right of the spray can and type in your keywords into the box.

spray on keywords in lightroom

Your cursor icon will turn into a spray can when you hover over any image. Just click on the image to apply those keywords to it! Pretty quick and easy way to tag your images.

Do you have any Lightroom questions? Just leave us a note at the bottom of the page and we will answer your question in a future post.

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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