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META 101

If the idea of embedding information in your digital files is news to you, read on.
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META 101

There’s room for more than meets the eye inside a digital photo image file. Regardless of the format, these files can store not only image data but also information about the images. Metadata is, literally, data about data. When included in image files, we call this information “photo metadata.”  Metadata is actually part of the image file, effectively a bundle of image data and information about that image.


Digital photo files can include descriptive, technical (sometimes called structural) and administrative classes of metadata of several types. These can list an image’s creator, copyright holder, source and description. They can explain rights released and available to an image. They can list how and when an image was created, its size, color characteristics and more. Read our Metadata FAQs


Embedding and preserving photo metadata can prevent and solve many issues confronting photographers and others who work with digital images. Our goal is to help everyone involved with digital photos – from image creators to distributors, users, archivists and developers – better understand photo metadata and best practices for harnessing this amazing tool to organize and communicate. Read our Metadata Manifesto


Are you ready to get meta-smart?

Start by reading our Metadata Manifesto.It explains the challenges we face in protecting
identifying, and managing or digital photos.

Ready to dig a little deeper? Tackle our list of Recommended Reading.

View our View META Tutorials which include screencast tutorials and step-by-step instructions showing you how to embed metadata using a range of popular software tools.