Photo metadata is attached to image files to give users information about a photo. Image metadata helps keep photos organized and searchable. The more extensive the metadata of an image, the easier it is to organize and find the picture. 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. It includes data such as date, time, author, objects and themes. Furthermore, It provides universal understandings of image types to different 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?

It’s easy to manually locate metadata for a specific photo, especially if you’re familiar with Windows or Mac. Here’s how to find it using both systems:

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

How Do I Edit Photo Metadata?

There are a lot of reasons you might need to alter a photo’s metadata. Whether you need to change a key date or add an author who was left out of the original tag, it’s easy to edit. Here’s how:

  1. Locate the picture you wish to edit
  2. Right-click it and select ‘properties’
  3. Select the ‘details’ tab at the top
  4. Scroll to the section you wish to edit
  5. Under the ‘value’ tab, click the section you wish to change and type your changes
A screenshot of the 'Properties' menu of an image file.
Use the ‘Properties’ menu to edit tagging information.

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. Fortunately, there are advanced tools available. Metadata management software ensures implementation of metadata practices within operations and projects are successful.

Software that is specific to images helps companies manage metadata of stored graphic files. 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.

Casey Schmidt – Content Manager and Industry Expert | Canto

Casey is a content management and branding expert who enjoys taking complex subjects and making them easy to understand for readers.