As a photographer I make heavy use of the meta-data/Library/Catalog features in digital asset management systems, such as Lightroom and Capture One, to organize my images. I do this so I can easily search for images when a client calls looking to see if I have photos in my stock catalog that matches their needs. Typically I organize my images by country, state/region, city, person, and keyword (which describes the image). Also, sometimes I get asked for images made with a specific camera or lens.
It’s easy for me to do these searches in Lightroom or Capture One, but it means I have to be at my computer which doesn’t always line up with the busy timetables of art buyers.
This is why I wrote the PhotoPress – Image Taxonomies Plugin (free and available in the WordPress plugin repository). The plugin allows me to easily transfer the meta-data I use to organize images in Lightroom/Capture One over to my WordPress website where it can be used by visitors to browse and search for my images online.
What is a Taxonomy?
Taxonomies in WordPress are a great way to associate meta-data with your content. The best example of this is WordPress’s core “tags” feature which lets you associate multiple keywords/phrases (i.e. a Tag) with any Post or Page that you create. WordPress also automatically creates an archive page for each Tag – allowing visitors to view all Posts that have been tagged with a specific “tag”.
The WordPress core Tags feature is implemented by using it’s own specific Taxonomy. This means,with a little bit of plugin magic, we can use the same approach for associating “Tag like” meta-data to Image Attachment Pages (which are created whenever you upload a new image).
How Does the Plugin Work?
The PhotoPress – Images Taxonomies plugin creates a number of custom image taxonomies including:
- photos_country – used to store the name of the country where a photo was made
- phot0s_state – used to store the name of the state/region where a photo was made.
- photos_city – used to store the name of the city where a photo was made.
- photos_people – used to store the names of people depicted in the photo.
- photos_keywords – used to store keywords that describe the photo.
- photos_camera – used to store the type of camera used to make the photo.
- photos_lens – used to store the type of lens used to make the photo.
- photos_collection – used store the names of any collections that the photo belongs to.
After installing the plugin it’s a four step process to start using it:
- You add meta-data to the image in Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop
- You upload the file to WordPress using the standard image uploader
- The plugin extracts the meta data that is embedded in the file and automatically populates the appropriate taxonomy
- The plugin displays the meta-data for an image on its image attachment Page through the use of two Widgets (here’s an example)
There are lots of things you can do with this plugin . You can review the meta-data, make changes/additions by editing the image attachment in the media library, create links to Taxonomy archive pages for these new image taxonomies, create a galleries of images filtered by Taxonomy and a specific Term. There are even plugins available to make these images searchable by this new taxonomy data. I cover all of this and more in the Guide To WordPress for Photographers.
For more information on how to install the plugin see the PhotoPress – Image Taxonomies page in the WordPress plugin repository.