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Family Photo Keyword Hierarchy

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Doug1234

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Hi There,

I've completed scanning 7000+ slides of my family and I'm anxious to begin keywording. I've read so much I'm going cross eyed, but I still don't understand what my hierarchy should look like. I've started down the road of a Who, What, Where, When approach, but don't know if this is the optimal approach. Would anyone be willing to share there family keyword hierarchy or comments on the approach? I've found truckloads of reading on actually applying the keywords, but I'm not worried about that part yet.

Thanks.
 
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I recently watched Ben Willmore on CreativeLive and have since adopted his "Who, What, Where,..." system which has been very successful in a big tidy up. It keeps the Keyword List Panel very tidy.
One 'Parent' heading is the zUNSORTED that is where any new keywords automatically go until they can be placed under a heading later.
ScreenShot589.jpg
Below a summary only-

[DEVELOPMENT #]
[& Duplicate Images]
[? Missing]
[@ START HERE #]
[EVENTS #]
[CALENDAR EVENTS]
[CELEBRATIONS]
[HOW #]
[COMPUTER]
[HOBBIES]
[PHOTOGRAPHIC #]
[WHAT #]
Architecture
Arts & Crafts
[DOCUMENTS]
[JOBS]
MACHINERY
NATURE
TRANSPORTATION
[WHERE #]
AUSTRALIA
QUEENSLAND
[LOCATIONS OF INTEREST]
[OVERSEAS]
[WHO #]
[VOCATIONS]
[FAMILY]
[GROUPS]
[PEOPLE SUNDRY]
[zUNSORTED #]
 
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My summary list in post above did not indent when copied from text , so a bit difficult to see the hierarchy I use.

I am still struggling to understand the < > functions when adding keywords in the [Click here to add keywords] box:
Makes my head spin!
As I understand it now: (and I have not seen these details published anywhere, like in 'Help' files)

1. If I have a new (child) keyword to add, it is possible to place it under a 'Parent' keyword by typing-
PARENT>NEW CHILD KEYWORD or even set a deeper hierarchy: GRANDPARENT>PARENT>NEW CHILD

2.
If I type a keyword that already exists in several hierarchies, eg. BRAND, might exist in BRAND<CARS, or BRAND<FOODS, BRAND<BOATS. The preselector will show all of these, I can choose the correct one and then type in front of the choice to add a new keyword- (say MERCURY)
MERCURY<BRAND<BOATS.
 

DGStinner

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Include on Export - pretty self explanatory
Export Containing Keywords - also export all keywords going up in the hierarchy (which sounds like the opposite of what it says)
Export Synonyms - also pretty self explanatory
 
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Thanks Dave- The Box for "Keyword Tags" is understood as you state-
I am commenting on the box below where you can enter new keywords and using the '<' and '>' hierarchy 'directives'
In my screen-clip I am entering a child keyword ("NEW CHILD") into the WHO# parent keyword hierarchy.
ScreenShot591.jpg
 

DGStinner

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Sorry, I didn't realize you were talking about the </> in the entry field. Re-reading your post, it makes more sense now.
Your understanding of their use matches what I've also gathered, even though I haven't entered new keywords this way. I'll typically add them normally, letting them go to zUnsorted and then organize later.
 

Doug1234

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Thank you for the responses guys. What is the title of the Ben W. video you guys are referring to. I'll watch it.
 
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Hi Doug,
The video referred to was a CreativeLive presentation (streamed live) and I do not know if there is a 'free' video available.
Type "Ben Willmore" in Google and most of the first hits are for Ben.
He has Youtube videos at- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=265Je1IoaJU
and one on Importing and Organising LR- You will also see Youtube videos sponsored by B&H that may include Keywording.
 

rob211

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BTW, a tip for hierarchies.

If you are outside of Lr and wanna do a hierarchy in an application that doesn't get them, try using the pipe character, "|". Then when Lr imports it should see that as a hierarchy and write them accordingly, as well as changing the pipe-hieararchy to regular keywords. So if I enter say "animal|mammal|bear|grizzly" it winds up as "animal, mammal, bear, grizzly in IPTC and "animal>mammal>bear>grizzly" in the hierarchy after Lr imports it.
 

Gadgetgeek

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I struggle a bit with the family tagging but have been using this structure to some success. I have an extensive collection of family groupings. Big family that I need help organizing just to remember who everyone is. Family reunions are hell trying to remember everyone's name and relationships. :)
  • _Family
    • Smith
      • Bill and Mary Smith
        • Bill Smith (person keyword)
        • Mary White (person keyword)
        • John Smith (son, person keyword)
    • Jones
      • Jeff and Abby Jones
        • Jeff Jones (person keyword)
        • Abby Jones (person keyword)
        • Kaitlin and Michael Wilson
          • Michael Wilson (person keyword)
          • Kaitlin Jones (daughter, person keyword)
          • Rebecca Wilson (daughter, person keyword
This works OK, except when trying to tag Bill - sometimes it picks up "Bill and Mary Smith" if i'm not careful. Nothing should be tagged with that, it's more of a container. I like it because I get the generational hierarchy. It isn't super clean with divorces because I move the relative to a new group.

Using this structure I could click on the Jones tag (or create a smart collection) and get all Jones photos, the Jeff and Abby Jones to get their particular family photos, or an individual person to get just that person's photos.
 
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Using hierarchical keywords for family members is not a good idea. The reason is that every image tagged with 'Kaitlin Jones' will now also be tagged as an image of Jeff and/or Abby Jones. Just like every image of Los Angeles is an image of California. In reality that is obviously not true for family hierarchies, however. There will be plenty of images with only Kaitlin.
 

Gadgetgeek

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Using hierarchical keywords for family members is not a good idea. The reason is that every image tagged with 'Kaitlin Jones' will now also be tagged as an image of Jeff and/or Abby Jones. Just like every image of Los Angeles is an image of California. In reality that is obviously not true for family hierarchies, however. There will be plenty of images with only Kaitlin.

That's not how it works. The people underneath are not tagged with the people above. Only the "folders" are linked by creating a tag underneath the "mother and father" tag. I don't create a tag under the person.

As I mentioned I can separate photos by families or by people in this way. It works great and doesn't return any unexpected results.

It would do what you describe if I created a hierarchy directly on the family member tag. You should use a family tag and then put the people in that family. Then everything works beautifully.
 
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That's not how it works. The people underneath are not tagged with the people above. Only the "folders" are linked by creating a tag underneath the "mother and father" tag. I don't create a tag under the person.
That is how it works. If you make a keyword hierarchy, then the parent keyword will be considered as assigned if you assign a child keyword. You do not have to assign the parent keyword itself for this.

As I mentioned I can separate photos by families or by people in this way. It works great and doesn't return any unexpected results.

It would do what you describe if I created a hierarchy directly on the family member tag. You should use a family tag and then put the people in that family. Then everything works beautifully.

Maybe I misunderstood your setup. The way you showed it with indentations, it looks like ‘Kaitlin Jones’ is not directly under ‘Jones’, but is a child keyword of ‘Kaitlin and Micheal Wilson’ and that this keyword is again a child keyword of ‘Jeff and Abbey Jones’. That would mean that a search for Jeff and Abbey pictures will also bring up Kaitlin pictures.
 
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Gadgetgeek

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Yes, that is how it works if I made the keywords a child keyword of the parent person. What I meant was it is now how it works the way I have laid it out. Families relate to other families, with the people a member of the family. Children who have families get put into another family sub keyword with their new family name. The way I showed the hierarchy above is exactly how I have it set in Lightroom. Works great.

Maybe your message was a bit misleading. The way you showed it with indentations, it looks like ‘Kaitlin Jones’ is not directly under ‘Jones’, but is a child keyword of ‘Kaitlin and Micheal Wilson’ and that this keyword is again a child keyword of ‘Jeff and Abbey Jones’.

You are correct. Kaitlin Jones is not directly under Jones. Is a child keyword exactly as you describe, under the Kaitlin and Michael Wilson tag. People never get set as a sub keyword of another person. Only a family.

people hierarchy.png
 
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OK, this will indeed work fine as long as you search for people by clicking behind the keyword in the keyword list (on the arrow that comes up).

However, I believe you will find that more comprehensive searches via the filter bar or a smart collection will give unexpected results. For example: create a smart collection with the following search: <Keywords contains Melanie>. If I'm not mistaken, that smart collection will also return the images of Finn, Jesse, and Liam...
 
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@Gadgetgeek I think the thing to understand is that internally in the database Lightroom stores the entire hierarchy for the image even though you only click on a single element. So as Johan says text searches will potentially match any term in the hierarchy not just the one that you checked in the Keywords List.

-louie
 

rob211

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And note that Lr can write the keywords to files, and will write the hierarchy as a flat list as well. So it will be just a list when seen in other applications. That might or might not be a problem. You can manage that to some degree by choosing to not export some. I have meta-informational keywords just to keep stuff organized in Lr, like "_People." When I do that I also sometimes include special characters or spellings so I can exclude them in search criteria in smart collections. For example, I had photos of people in a firm, and so they were children of "Firm*Jones,Smith" or something like that so it was more easily distinguished from the named employees.
 

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However, I believe you will find that more comprehensive searches via the filter bar or a smart collection will give unexpected results. For example: create a smart collection with the following search: <Keywords contains Melanie>. If I'm not mistaken, that smart collection will also return the images of Finn, Jesse, and Liam...

Yes! It does. Except that is not unexpected, that's exactly how "Contains" works. If I want to specify a specific person, that changes to "Starts with" and I write out the entire keyword. "Starts with" will be an exact match for the person, and the family name is different so it works great.

Contain
contain.png


Starts with
starts with.png


Let me show you a few extra awesome ways this works!

Smart collection with match all (Match photos that have each person specified):
match all collection (Medium).png


Smart collection with match any (Match photos of one person that could contain any of the grandkids):
match one with any.png


This hierarchy works pretty well and helps me get the photos I want to find!
 
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I think you have been lucky so far that you do not have the same names for different people. You only need to searches that include people, you never have to try to exclude anyone with the same name who is the wrong person. 'Starts with' will obviously not work if you have pictures of John Doe and John Smith.

This is a famous dilemma, that has been discussed here quite a few times before. Consider the following situation. You have three people: John Doe, Jane Doe and John Smith. John Doe and Jane Doe are married, and John Smith is a good friend. That means that you have pictures of John Doe alone, pictures of John Doe and Jane Doe together, pictures of Jane Doe and John Smith together, pictures of John Doe and John Smith together and pictures of all three together. Now try to create a smart collection that will find all pictures of John Doe (but not pictures of Jane Doe and John Smith). You will find that is not possible because of the way that Lightroom (mis)handles keywords that consists of multiple words.
 
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UPDATE
Wow, the fact that you use 'Starts with' suddenly made me find a solution for the above dilemma! When you use <Kewords contains John Doe>, then Lightroom will also find pictures of Jane Doe and John Smith together, because Lightroom does not handle multiple word keywords as one keyword. I suddenly wondered what would happen if you would use 'Starts with' and then use the entire name. Would that keep multiple words together? To my surprise this works! If you create a smart collection that uses <Keywords start with John Doe>, then you will find the pictures of John Doe, and not the pictures of Jane Doe and John Smith!!!


Congratulations. You (indirectly) solved a problem that has been discussed here for years!
 

Gadgetgeek

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Congratulations. You (indirectly) solved a problem that has been discussed here for years!

Of course I would love a keyword match option that is more than just "starts with" or "contains", but it seems to work pretty well for me. I'm glad you tested it out--I was wondering what else I could do to prove that it was working for me. :) Using the entire name seems to be the trick with "Starts with".

The other option I have considered is to just remove the spaces from the name, using a single "word" to handle the name. It could be "Smith,John", or "JohnSmith" to try to work around the limitation.
 
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Yes, using a single word (or using a single word synonym) was the solution to the John and Jane Doe problem so far. I always advised people to use 'John Doe' as (exporting) keyword and 'JohnDoe' as non-exporting synonym. Then use the synonyms to build your smart collections.

But the interesting thing is that Lightroom does consider'John Doe' as two words (and so you'll find images with Jane Doe and John Smith if you use 'Contains all John Doe'), but not if you use 'starts with'. I would have expected that Lightroom would find all San Francisco images if I used 'Starts with Francisco', but when I tried it I was surprised that Lightroom didn't find anything. So then I realised that this solves the name problem in a much easier way than using synonyms.
 
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