I got a question after my workflow blog post about keyboarding. Or better put, do you ever add keywords? Adding keywords does take a little more time. You have to type in or use a preset of keywords at some point in your workflow. Depending on how specific you get, this could take an extra minute or much longer if you add many descriptive terms. But the benefit is when you do a keyword search you can find exactly what you want across all your files.
The other option is using collections. If you think about it, how do you search for an image in Lightroom? Many photographers simply go to the collection of images from a specific shoot where they know they will find the shot. No need to do a keyword search when you know what collection has the shot. Therefore, no need to take the additional step of adding keywords in your workflow.
There is another way to search for images similar to Lightroom collections. I use an alpha-numeric title for each of my images organized by subject or place. I can quickly find a folder of images on my hard drive and drop the folder onto Photo Mechanic to quickly browse the images…I don’t even open up Lightroom to find a shot. Because Photo Mechanic is so fast, I can quickly go to a specific folder and look for an image…similar to going to a collection, but not at specific.
Once again the best answer here is what do you do with your images? I regularly get calls from clients asking for images for stock use. They want a grizzly bear at Wonder Lake in Denali National Park in the fall. This is going to require a keyword search. But if they just want to see my most recent Alaska ‘best images’, I can find this in a Collection. During my workflow I normally add a few general keywords to my images along with my copyright information. It takes less than a minute to add a destination and subject in the description, and helps down the road if I need to do a keyword search.