People don’t like labels, especially ones they don’t apply themselves. But in the world of stock photography, customers can’t find the images they need unless we label them. We call it keywording.
We accept images from both independent artists as well as large collections from around the world. Most modern collections tend to keyword in similar ways, although our lexicons (dictionaries) are not identical. Premium images are more likely to be keyworded in-house (by dedicated staff at a stock agency) than microstock (or budget stock) which is usually keyworded by the photographer or illustrator sometimes with assistance from special software.
Keywording images of people is a balancing act, one that’s changed substantially in the last few years. In the not so distant past, professional keyworders added words to describe an image based on what they saw or even felt when looking at an image, using their years of experience helping designers find images. While that process still happens, aided by technology that automatically suggests related words, it doesn’t happen for ethnic or racial diversity.
We have hundreds of keywords in our lexicon, some extremely specific (like Ecuadorian ethnicity or New Zealander or Myanmarian ethnicity). Whether you’re looking for a diverse group of people or a specific ethnicity, we've included a short list to get you started.
African-American • African ethnicity (includes Afro-Caribbean ethnicity, etc.) • Asian • Black (people) • Brazilian ethnicity • Caucasian • Diversity • Ethnic • Hispanic or Latino • Indigenous person • Interracial • Mexican ethnicity • Minority • Mixed race person • Multi-ethnic group • Multicultural or multi-ethnic or mixed race people • Tribal • Variety of ethnicities