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iStockphoto Tip: The wonderful thing about computers is that they can find volumes of data in a single second. But, as the old addage goes, computers are only as good as the people who use them. Therefore, when you are searching a stock photo website, such as iStockphoto.com, the key words you use are critical to finding the right shot in a reasonable time frame.
Stock photo sites offer some help online with choosing keywords and you should always access it before you begin a stock photo search. It will save you valuable time! Here are a few examples:
*Use quotation marks to delineate phrases. If you want a girl in a halter top, don't search under 'halter top girl' since the computer won't understand at first what a halter top is. Use instead, "halter top" girl.
*For people photos, search under specific age ranges. Imagine how many baby photos or photos of senior adults there are out there. Narrow your search to babies from birth to six months or adults over age 60.
*Use the word AND to narrow your search. For example, don't search for "white house" or you might get the one in Washington D.C. Search for "white AND house" to get pictures of white houses.
*Also, use NOT to further narrow a search. For example, "clown NOT mime" will give you only clowns and not similar photos, like mimes.
The "vocabulary" of most stock photo sites is constantly being updated so always read the site's key search word suggestions before you embark on a stock photo search.