I'm no expert, Conor, but one thing I know is that you need to include plurals. The FAA search doesn't understand the difference. So if someone searches for "males," for example, they won't find your first image because you only have "male" as a keyword. And what is a "cob artist"? Did you mean "con artist"?
@Deborah - Thanks. Yea I understand about including plurals, I didn't put males in because there is only one male. Oh, cob is my initials, and because I sign my art with my initials, people might search for it also.
I think you need a lot more specific and decorative terms in the first one. Colors, rooms or uses you envision for, painting or photograph, etc. Even though irrelevant to the story you're telling then pick a city (even a made up but recognizable one) in your description. It's not that you are looking for the most common keywords someone would think of looking at the image but the set of the most common keywords that will result in you being at the top of the search if someone types them in. That means being as specific about what sets you apart, be it color, place, medium, etc.. But these terms are as critical in your keywords as subject descriptions. The question is what is someone searching for that they would want to see my dog keyword if I didn't have other keywords like painting.
even adding things like what they are wearing, brick, city and the like. any descriptive words or anything people might type in. you might mention the medium or style your doing it in if you have one. for the top one - bum, poor,poverty, hungry,jobless,fired,circumstance,graffiti,hoodie,faceless,political,statement,bailouts,bank bailout,death,unhappy,sad,scared,afraid.
The biggest key for me is thinking about who the image is aimed at and how might they search for such an image. Yes, you can get specific and put in cigarette butt, but is there really a group of people searching for images that have a cigarette butt? If there is, it is likely an anti smoking group or individual. Is this image really about cigarette butts? No, it is however a strong statement on the economy and the 1% v. the 99%. The haves and have nots. It is a powerful image about poverty and despair. It makes a statement on the caste system that we supposedly do not have in this society. It is a stark contrast between values. It is not really about anything specifically within the image so much as it is about everything in the image and how it conveys the message. For me, I would want to target the audience that is looking for an image to convey the message within and not so much the individual flotsam within the image used to convey that message.
Plurals..... While there is only one male, think of it this way, a client wants to find a shot of a butterfly, They may search for "butterflies" because they want to see multiple images of a single butterfly.