Photo Metadata – Changing How You Organize Images


Photo metadata is attached to image files to give users information about a photo. Image metadata helps keep photos organized and searchable. Discover how you can use photo metadata to sort your graphic libraries.

What Is Photo Metadata?

Photo metadata is information and details about any type of image file. Photo metadata includes data such as date, time, author, objects and themes. It helps provide a basic universal understanding of an image type to different types of systems, software and formats.

A good example of photo metadata in practice is a digital image of a painting. The photo metadata for this image could offer information such as the author of the original painting, what the painting displays (objects, background, etc), the date of the painting, the date of the digital rendering and the author of the digital image.

How Do I Find Metadata in a Photo?

For Windows users:

  1. Locate the intended image file on your PC
  2. Right-click it, then select ‘properties’
  3. Select the ‘details’ tab
  4. Now simply scroll through all the data
A screenshot of a computer user accessing a menu.
Use the ‘Properties’ menu to locate photo metadata on Windows.

For Mac users:

  1. In Finder, locate the intended image file
  2. Highlight the file
  3. Press Command I

Why Is Metadata Valuable for Photos?

Metadata is valuable for photos in a lot of ways. One important way is it provides a bridge between systems that are exchanging large amounts of image files. The information in the metadata of the image lets foreign systems understand what type of file they’re receiving.

Another way metadata is valuable is it creates the potential for efficient organization of numerous image files. If an image library has thousands of different types of images, it would be nearly impossible to manually sort them. Metadata allows for instantaneous organizing of photos based on specific data such as date, size or topic. If the entire library was pictures of animals, for example, the user could take advantage of metadata to sort them by species type.

A picture of a cow with graphics around it that provide data.
Metadata gives information and insight into objects of a photo.

How Can I Make the Most of Photo Metadata?

Companies are finding the need to utilize metadata management a necessity, and fortunately there are advanced tools in place. Metadata management software ensures implementation of metadata practices within operations and projects are successful.

Software that is specific to photo metadata helps companies manage metadata of stored images. Canto digital asset management creates a central library for image files, which allows for collaboration in real time. It also then automatically adds metadata keywords and tags to the images, ensuring users can search and share the files quickly.

Finding and understanding the value of photo metadata can help you organize image libraries. Make sure you’re taking advantage of the best metadata management systems to boost your processes.